The Los Angeles school board has just reached another milestone in its accidental breeding of an American peasant class.
The board's program nicely complements the state's program. With bilingual education the state subsidizes schools that discourage American students from doing most of their thinking in English (which doesn't help them much in a primarily English-speaking society).
Now the school board has eliminated the "F" grade, reasoning that the "trauma" of receiving an "F" grade is more responsible for the next "F" grade than poor performance is.
If society does not have a way of telling children at an early age that certain low levels of achievement are not acceptable, how are the kids going to react to an adult world where this understanding is crucial to social and economic security?
An "F" is a blunt warning. An "N" simply does not have the same negative connotation and therefore there exists less of an incentive to avoid it. Kids in stable families generally will be reminded very often that bad performance doesn't cut it in the real world. However, kids in troubled homes generally don't have the same guidance available and must depend on their school more to reinforce real world values (educate them). It is these kids, less-advantaged kids, who will really suffer, just like the kids who can't think in English as well as those who can.
What we'll end up with is a minority of people who will have been well trained for the real world, and a majority who will not have. This minority will be cruising along in the Computer Age, while the others will be slipping back into the Middle Ages.