Watson has adopted a “stress reduction policy” that will allow students to select their own grades if they “feel unduly stressed” by the ones they earned.
Students who feel “unduly stressed by a grade for any assessable material or the overall course,” can “email the instructor indicating what grade [they] think is appropriate, and it will be so changed” with “no explanation” being required.
“If in a group meeting, you feel stressed by your group’s dynamics, you should leave the meeting immediately and need offer no explanation to the group members,” the policy adds, saying such students can “discontinue all further group work” with their remaining grade being “based totally on non-group work”.
Similarly, when it comes to “tests and exams” for Watson’s “Data Management” and “Energy Informatics” courses, all will be “open book and open notes” and “designed to assess low level mastery of the course material”.
Finally, for in-class presentations, “only positive comments” will be allowed, while “comments designed to improve future presentations will be communicated by email”.
Watson nevertheless admits taht “while this policy might hinder the development of group skills and mastery of the class material,” those outcomes are ultimately a student’s “responsibility”.
Watson is a “Regents Professor” at the university, a title “bestowed by the Board of Regents on truly distinguished faculty”.
In California, no longer a white state, the four-year graduation rate is just 19 percent at Cal State. To solve this, California has declared that freshmen will no longer have to sit math and English placement tests.
The aim of this idiotic experiment is to increase graduation rates to 40 percent. At present, placement tests are given to freshmen to determine if they are capable in terms of English and math ability of coping with the workload and content of the college course.
If not, they are placed in remedial classes that cost money and do not actually go towards the degree. Under the new system, colleges will now have freedom in determining literacy and numeracy levels in order to improve the graduation rate, something remedial classes have failed to produce.
Sadly, more students will enroll in college if they don’t have to pass a basic skills test. But will they eventually graduate?