MCR lobbies to postpone new grading policy

Nov. 4, 2004, midnight | By June Hu | 16 years, 2 months ago

Delay seeks to allow schools to get used to new five-point grading scale

The Montgomery County student government (MCR) passed a bill on Oct. 27 that seeks to delay the enforcement of the Board of Education's new grading policy for county high schools.

Blair's SGA president, junior Sebastian Johnson, introduced the bill at the MCR general assembly last week because he believed that students and teachers will need more time to get acclimated to the new policy. "I proposed that MCR should lobby the Board of Education to postpone implementation of the new grading policy in high schools because I feel that the policy hasn't been fully explained to the people it will affect," Johnson said.

The new grading policy, currently scheduled to take effect next school year, requires teachers to evaluate all student work on a five-point scale, the highest grade a student can earn being a four, which corresponds to an A letter-grade. "It's impossible to get a zero, and the lowest you can get [on an assignment] is 50 percent," Johnson said.

Some teachers feel that the new grading policy will decrease student initiative for learning. "There are aspects of this new policy that just don't help students. Students don't get a strong sense of motivation with the new ‘50 percent rule,'" history teacher and SGA sponsor Rondai Ravilious said. "They shouldn't feel that they can rely on getting a 50 percent without putting forth an ounce of effort. I hope that the people who are working on the new policy will take more time and hopefully devise some alternative plans to address this area of concern.”

On the other hand, some teachers have already adopted the new policy. French teacher Michael Honigsberg and computer science teacher Mary Ann Dvorsky have already started using the five-point scale.

Magnet math teacher Nannette Dyas has used this grading policy for years with mixed feelings from students. Junior Jeff Cao, one of Dyas' students, said, "I think [the grading system] is fair, but it's also really hard for students to work with, especially when you get an 89 percent and you have to take a B [or a three] for it."

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