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Students adjust to new grading scale

Teachers begin using Standards-Based Grading

Eli Gutierrez, Staff Writer

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Students have experienced whiplash this year as the familiar A, B, C, D and F grading system has been replaced by NYA, NEV, EMG, APR, PRF, and MST.

This new system is called Standards-Based Grading and some administrators and teachers believe that it will be a more precise way to communicate student mastery of content. However, the transition for students hasn’t been easy because it does not follow the traditional system they have grown up with.

“The change of the system was so fast, but what is being taught hasn’t changed,” sophomore Michael Serrato said.

Math teacher Natalee Peterson said that standards based grading should encourage students to do better on their work because it will give them more information on how they truly performed based on the standards. She said “Standards-based grading is making sure that your grade in a course reflects what you can actually do, as far as the content goes,”.

Although students do not like the fact that grades are rounded down in some cases, teachers believe that the new system provides more accurate labels on student mastery than the old letter-grades.
“I think it gives the student a better understand- ing of a standard. Because we’re really diving in and dissecting what the standard is,” English teacher Mark Martinez said.

With this system, all grades fall into the following levels of mastery that are associated with different number grades: Not Yet Assessed is a 50, No Evidence is equal to 60, Emerging is 70, Approaching is 80, Proficient is 90 and Mastery is 100.

Sophomore Brianna Palacios said she does not like the new categories because they’re too restrictive. “There isn’t really anything in between, you get something and it’s set that way,” Palacios said.

In addition to this, students are not happy with how fast your grade can change, if you do well on all assignments and then get a bad grade on one your grade can change drastically. Junior Mason Lanning said he has been frustrated with the new grading system because his grades have been affected many times. “I’ve been screwed over a couple times because of it.I needed a 70 on a test, but since I got a 63 I got a 60 and it made my grade worse,” he said.

Peterson said she thinks the new system puts the control in the students’ hands.
“If you want a higher (grade) than that fix it and try it again,” Peterson said. “You can redo anything until they get all the way up to 100. Everything is flexible and that’s how you learn.”

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