• New Grade Scales

    Schools have been using the 100-point scale for over a century, but it has been used more out of convenience and ease rather than a true reflection of achievement. As explained by Thomas Guskey, a highly respected academic researcher, from a mathematical standpoint, using this traditional scale means that there are 60 levels of failure and only 40 levels of success. To read more about the research on why it's time to abandon grading scales that distort the accuracy, objectivity, and reliability of students' grades, you can read Guskey's article on The Case Against Percentage Grades

    The traditional way of grading that most people are familiar with is a 100-point scale where 90-100 is considered an A, 80-89 is a B, etc. The problem with this type of grading scale is that, whereas each letter grade is made up of 10 points, an F accounts for 0-59 points.  So, if a student is missing an assignment and gets a 0, that loss of 59 points has a dramatic impact on his or her overall grade and is extremely difficult to overcome.  

    grading clip art

     

    To address the problems with the 0-100% grade scale, DVUSD focuses on four key factors for a more effective grade scale.  First, the range between the levels of the scale needs to be equal to prevent the skewing of the grade.  Next, fewer levels are necessary to lead to increased consistency and reliability.  Each of the levels of the grade scale needs to be based upon a level of academic proficiency.  And, finally, each level of the scale needs to describe a level of learning rather than using an accumulation of points.

    During the 2022-2023 school year, Phase 3 schools will remain on the traditional grading scale.  Phase 1 and Phase 2 schools will utilize new grading scales that meet the four key factors listed above (see Phased Roll Out).  Additionally, students will be graded on standards rather than on overall assignment grades to provide a clearer picture of each student's learning. Because it is difficult to have one policy fit from Kindergarten through 12th grade, there will be different scales, one for K-6th grades and one for 7th-12th grades. The Governing Board has adopted the following  new grading scales for the  Phase 1 and Phase 2 schools in the 2022-2023 school year:

    For K-6th grade courses, students will be graded on learning standards on the following scale:

    4

    Independently applies skills and content with greater depth and complexity

    3

    Demonstrates grade level proficiency independently 

    2

    Demonstrates grade level proficiency with support

    1

    Demonstrates below grade level proficiency with support

     

    For 1st-6th grade courses, the standards grades will be averaged to produce a final course grade using the following grade scale:

    Letter Grade

    A+

    A

    A-

    B+

    B

    C+

    C

    D

    F

    Final Score


    4.0-3.8


    3.7-3.4


    3.3-3.0


    2.9-2.7


    2.6-2.4


    2.3-2.0


    1.9-1.7


    1.6-1.4


    1.3-1.0

     

    For 7th-12th grade courses, students will be graded on learning standards on the following scale:

    A

    (100)

    Evidence indicates a high level of proficiency of the learning standard(s)

    B

    (89)

    Evidence indicates proficiency of the learning standard(s)  

    C

    (79)

    Evidence indicates partial proficiency of the learning standard(s)

    D

    (69)

    Evidence indicates minimal proficiency of the learning standard(s)

    F

    (60)

    No evidence of proficiency of the learning standard(s) 

     

    For 7th-12th grade courses, the standards grades will be averaged to produce a course grade using the following grade scale:

    Letter Grade

    A

    B

    C

    D

    F

    Final Score

    100-90%

    89-80%

    79-70%

    69-61%

    NO CREDIT

    60%

    NO CREDIT

    For high school students, high school transcripts will continue to include grade point averages based on the 4.0 GPA scale with opportunities for an added grade point for honors/IB/AP courses

    Letter Grade

    A

    B

    C

    D

    F

    GPA Points for Regular Courses


    4.0


    3.0


    2.0


    0


    0

    GPA Points for Honors, AP, or IB Courses


    5.0


    4.0


    3.0


    0


    0