Standardized grading system


Nic Hale, Reporter

It’s a new school year, which means there are tons of changes going on at Woodland Park High School. One of the major changes that has happened to our school over summer is the new grading system. This grading system is called Standardized grading. Most students around campus don’t like this new grading system. I talked to two seniors, Kayla Haines and Kelsey Schubert, about the new grading system to get their input on it. I asked Kayla and Kelsey what their opinion was on the new grading system. Kayla Haines states, “It’s very confusing cause you don’t really know what grade you’re really going to get.” Kelsey said, “ We’ve been using the same grading system all throughout highschool, it’s universal and everybody uses it, then all of the sudden our highschool changes it, because we don’t want to tell kids they’re failing. So we changed it to not yet. We can’t raise kids through school thinking oh i can’t fail, they act like failing is impossible, if you don’t try and you don’t do your work you’re going to fail that’s how life works and I don’t think highschool should be any different.” I also asked Kelsey how do think the new grading system could be better? Here’s what Kelsey had to say. “ I think we should go back to the old grading system, like A, B, C, D, and  F, but i think that we might want to alter the grading system, because every teacher now grades in their own way, I think the teacher should grade to the best of their students’ abilities.”

I also asked Kelsey and Kayla if they prefer the new grading system or the old one, this is what they stated. Kayla said, “I prefer the old grading system, because the new one seems like it’s a lot to handle this year and it used to be so much simpler, and it just seems like it’s too much for the students and the teachers, it’s also a lot more stressful because we don’t really know what’s going on because we’re so used to the old grading system” Kelsey said, “ I have no idea what grade I have in my classes till its towards the end of the semester, and no teachers really know what is going on with the new grading system, because they all have different answers.” I also asked a teacher Mr. Torrance what he thought about the new grading system since he was on the board of teachers who implemented the new grading system. I asked Mr. Torrance, “Do you have the new grading system in your class?” He said “ I am using standards based grading in my chemistry classes and traditional grading in my PLTW Engineering class.” I also asked Mr. Torrance, “Do you think your students understand how it works?” He said “ I don’t think students really understand the system, yet.Even the teachers are working out kinks in the application of standards based grading.There is a learning curve for both students and teachers. I think, though, that both groups will have a much better understanding after implementing standards based grading for a semester or so.” I also asked Mr. Torrance, “Do you think this is better than the old grading system?” He had to say, “ Yes, it is better than the old grading system.  The old grading system did not provide a good framework for assessing what a student actually knows.” finally I asked Mr. Torrance, “ What would you change about the new grading system?” and he said, “ I wouldn’t change anything about the new grading system, yet. I believe there could be some changes in the future, but we can only identify those changes after we experience standards based grading in our daily practice.” Mr. Torrance also mentioned, I think that the standards based grading system provides a more accurate reflection of what a student actually knows.It is not based on behaviors such as turning in work late.It also does not provide for extra credit.This forces the student to learn the material and demonstrate their learning through a legitimate assessment (demonstration of learning).”Overall I don’t think the students at Woodland Park High School understand this grading system at all, and I don’t think students are very fond of it. However, with this new grading system it seems like the school’s staff is trying to help out the students by increasing the rate of students passing classes and graduating.