As a second grade teacher, I am appalled at the letters expressing opposition to the Board of Education's elimination of "F" grades for kindergarten through second grade students.
One of the main purposes of primary education is to instill in children a feeling of confidence and self-worth. Some children have the disadvantages of poverty, illiterate parents, lack of enriching experiences, uprootedness, cultural alienation, or even hunger.
Giving these children a grade of "F" on their report cards only insults them and gives them another hurdle to overcome. Moreover, "F" grades wouldn't reflect the huge strides that a disadvantaged student has made. A grade of "N" (needs to improve) will clearly say that they are not on grade level, but it will do so in a way that is encouraging.