Electives now adopt standards based grading system

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Electives now adopt standards based grading system

Algebra 2 teacher Audrey Elliott explains her standards based grading scales to a student.

Algebra 2 teacher Audrey Elliott explains her standards based grading scales to a student.

Algebra 2 teacher Audrey Elliott explains her standards based grading scales to a student.

Algebra 2 teacher Audrey Elliott explains her standards based grading scales to a student.

Jaime Rios

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Now that the first grading period ended in late September, students are beginning to find out what having all of their classes graded with Standards-Based Grading means for them.

“There’s ups and downs to the new grading method but I strongly disagree with it. It’s extremely difficult to get a 100. It’s really rare.”

— Briana Fuentez

While students at Akins have used Standards-Based Grading in some of their classes since the 2017 school year, this is the first time it is required in almost all of their classes. For teachers and students, the change from the traditional 100-point scale to Standards-Based grading is a big adjustment.

that’s one of the reasons why SBG has been slowly expanded at Akins, starting at first in just the math department and then gradually expanding so that all teachers had to use in SBG in at least one class last year. And finally this year, Principal Tina Salazar required all teachers to use SBG in all of their classes.

the biggest difference between the old traditional 100-point scale grading — in which teachers had wide latitude to give students whatever grade they thought they deserved — and SBG is that teachers now have to base all grades based on a level of achievement for each of the state-required learning standards for a course. SBG also forces teachers to use the same grading scale starting with “Mastery” as the best grade and “No Evidence” as the lowest grade.

Administrators and proponents of SBG believe that it 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.

Debate teacher Aimee Finney, who previously taught at Bowie High School, said SBG is not something she is used to.

“At Bowie, it was completely different. It’s going to take us new teachers or even some vets a minute to get used to this new grading procedure,” she said.

Some students expressed frustration with the constantly changing grading systems at Akins. Specifically, some said they don’t like how their quiz grades will be rounded down. For Example, if a student receives an 87 or 85 on a quiz or a test, the grade is rounded  down to Satisfactory (equivalent to an 80) instead of Proficient (equivalent to a 90).

“I’m glad I’m almost out of here because the district keeps changing the grading system almost every year,” senior Briana Fuentez said.
“there’s ups and downs to the new grading method but I strongly disagree with it. It’s extremely difficult to get a 100. It’s really rare.”

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