Grading scale still causing issues for students, teachers

Melissa Kizer

Staff Reporter

The grading scale is in its second year in effect, making it much harder to get an A+.  Is this helping the people who are the top of their class? Or is it helping people slide by in school and barely pass but still pass?

“I think the scale isn’t so good.  I think it would be better if it was like it was in 2010-2011 when homework was a bigger factor in the grades,” said sophomore Chase Davis.

The grading scale is in its second year in effect.  We students are upset about the grading scale because it is much harder to get the A+ we want, especially the students who are top of their class.  If you mess up on anything and you get an A on the assignment your grade will be an A and you can’t get it back up to an A+.  The grading is test based. That hasn’t been good news for some students who work really hard and they are not very good test-takers. So your grade will be lower than what you have had in the past when homework and tests were a little more equal percentage wise than it is now.

The homework is only 20 percent of your grade.  Many students say homework doesn’t matter so they don’t do it.  Then they do poorly on the test.

The homework counts, especially if there is only one or two things in there that is homework.  Also in the grading scale if you get an A+ on your first test, you don’t have to do anything the rest of the semester and you can still pass.  Your grade will be very ugly and low but you would still pass.

One of the reasons for the switch in grading scales was to help prepare students for college.

“I believe the grading scale is more realistic view of how the universities grade and part of our mission is to prepare students for college readiness.  Rarely are there formative grades at the university level.  More often they are summative, projects, tests, and papers.  I believe it is more beneficial. As we expected the students at the very top have to clearly demonstrate mastery of the subject matter rather than getting items turned in,” Principal Barbara Ahlersmeyer said.

But just because someone does well at the start of the semester and “blows off” the latter portion of the grading period doesn’t necessarily mean that they will pass.

“As in life it is the final project or completion of a job that determines the success. Students need to understand that the formative work is in the learning of the material and summative is the demonstration that you have learned the material. For that reason, students who do not complete formative work, or do well at the beginning of the semester and then shut down, may very well fail the class. If I would change anything it would to lower the value of the formative grade to 5 or 10 percent,” said Northrop Principal Barbara Ahlersmeyer.


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