New Grade Scales
The Grading and Reporting committee that was made up of over 100 teachers from every grade level, administrators, parents and district personnel looked closely at the grade scales that teachers were using and based on the research they realized that a change needed to be made. Since the goal is to make sure that grades accurately reflects what a student has learned, the decision was made to switch to a more compact grade scale that puts equal weight for each grade category. The new grade scales will be phased-in over the next two years with the Phase 1 schools starting in the 2021-2022 school year (see menu to the left for a listing of the Phase 1 schools)
Also instead of assigning a letter grade, the grading scale will reflect a level of proficiency of the learning so there is more consistency throughout the district. Because it is difficult to have any one policy fit from Kindergarten through 12th grade, there will be two separate scales, one for K-6th grades and one for 7th-12th grades. The following will be the new grading scales for the ten Phase I schools in the 2021-2022 school year:
Since these new scales are based on proficiency of knowledge and not percetages, it is important not to equate these numbers with the A-F grading model (i.e. a 4 is not equal to an A). Also a passing score would be at least a 2 on either scale and when it comes to high school that means that a student needs to earn a 2-4 in order to pass the course.
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.
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 stand point using this traditional scale means that there are 60 levels of failure and only 40 levels of success. To read more about the research in 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.