Opinion: New Grading Scale Flawed

Lillian Becker and Isabella Milone

The new grading scale is not beneficial to hard working students.

The new scale is based on a four point grading scale where a four is equivalent to 100 percent, a 3.5 is equivalent to a 90 percent, a three is equivalent to an 80 percent, a 2.5 is equivalent to a 70 percent and a two is equivalent to 60 percent. For students to receive a four, they have to get 100 percent correct on their test and in addition get the level four question, or ‘bonus question’ correct. This is not good for straight A students because the teachers do not teach the level four question, and instructors expect students to be able to know what the level four question is about.

“Personally, the new grading scale just makes me worry a lot, and it stresses me out because I am always wondering what the level four question is,” said junior Ethan Gomez. “I understand the concept of applying what we learned in real life, but we can’t do well if we are not taught to apply it.”

Depending on the type of question on a test, a student could miss eight questions and a different student could miss three questions and each student will still receive a three. This is obviously different from the 100 percent scale, where each question adds up to a percentage and doesn’t fit into a category.

A benefit to this new grading scale is that it is harder for students to fail because there is not a 50-0 percent area for students to receive an F. Some believe this scale is more transparent, meaning that students and teachers know exactly where they stand and what they have learned.

“The new grading scale is making it easier for people who didn’t have the best grades last year to have better grades this year,” said junior Zoie Brown.

Although grades are not the only thing colleges look at, they are still important. Colleges use this formula when looking at who to accept: they take two times your ACT score, one times your high school rank, 20 times your high school GPA and five times the number of core class completed. 

But many students have considered switching school districts because they fear their GPA will drop.

“I’ve definitely talked about wanting to move to a different district because of this issue at least three times a week since school started,” said junior Jerianne Richardson. “It’s even more serious of a problem for juniors and seniors because colleges are looking at their GPAs, and this new grading scale makes it almost impossible for a student to get a grade above an A-.”

We strongly believe the grading scale needs to be changed in some way.

“To improve the grading scale, the best option would be converting back to the old grading scale,” said senior Parson Covington. “If the intent was to make it harder on high achieving students, then maybe an 8 point grading scale could be implemented, where 100-92 is an A, 92-84 is a B, etc.”

The new grading scale is the topic of most student conversations. It causes more stress to higher achieving students.

“This time in our lives is simply too pivotal to be messing with grades. I know the whole point of the switch is to take the emphasis off grades and put it on learning, but that is simply wishful thinking,” said sophomore Madeline Becker. “For many kids, their grades are what is going to get them into college. Their grades are going to get them scholarships. Their grades are going to help them get the job they want so they can live up to their full potential. This grading switch makes it harder for kids to show their intelligence and could drastically alter their lives for the worse.”

We share the same opinions as all the students interviewed and offer the solution of reverting back to the old grading scale. Another option would be to take out reteach/retake. This would still challenge the higher achieving students, and also solve the problem of teachers complaining that ‘too many students are getting A’s’.