PTSA hears questions on grading policy

Dec. 7, 2004, midnight | By Adedeji Ogunfolu | 17 years, 1 month ago

Parents and teachers respond to new grading system

Parents and teachers addressed issues regarding the imminent new grading policy and the implications it will have for incoming high school students during the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meeting last night in the auditorium.

Betsy Brown, Director of Curriculum/Grading and Reporting, stressed to parents that the school board is seeking to make every classroom follow consistent standards. "The problem was that the board became aware that grades became inconsistent in their meaning,” Brown said. "Students in some schools could pass county-wide final exams with a 35 percent and some students needed a 65 percent to pass.”

English teacher Judith Smith described her argument against the grading policy, saying that it will discourage students from completing assignments and that classes will become easier to pass. "We have eager learners and less eager learners who will take the opportunity to get a 50 percent for a paper they didn't do,” she said. "Under the new grading policy, students can get a 35 percent and pass. That is a very low expectation for students,” she said. "We really have to care about getting these students to achieve.”

PTSA member Suzanne Costilo agreed with Smith's opinions regarding the policy and believes the system expects too much from students. "Kids are not doing homework because there is not any reason to. When kids aren't doing homework, they will blow the test, and teachers are going to be in the position of constant reasessment,” she said. "This policy is expecting a discipline from the students that just is not there.”

Brown acknowlegded that students may interpret the new system to mean that they do not have to complete many assignments. "We understand that teachers are troubled with 50 percent for nothing,” she said. "It is true that kids are going to test the system and that in some cases, they will see the connection between practice and performance.”

Brown hopes that the policy will not drastically impact academics in Montgomery County. "We are working extremely hard to find a way to implement this policy so that it is fair to students, parents and teachers,” she said.

For more information about the grading policy, click here

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Adedeji Ogunfolu. Adedeji Ogunfolu is now a senior. Besides working dilligently on the Silver Chips Online staff, he is an extremely enthusiastic musician. He is not ashamed to tell people that he has been to band camp, but he prefers to call it orchestra camp. He has … More »

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