School Board Delays Vote on Grading Policy Changes
Several parents attended an Oak Creek-Franklin School Board meeting Monday night and voiced concern about proposed changes to grading procedures at the high school and middle schools.
Amid concerns from parents, the Oak Creek-Franklin School Board on Monday held off implenting changes to grading policies at the high school and middle school.
The proposed changes include adjustments so that Oak Creek High School and the district's two middle schools operate under the same grading scale.
The standard to reach an 'A' would remain the same. Superintendent Sara Burmeister said a miscommunication led many to believe the percentage needed for an A would rise from 95 to 96. It would actually remain the same — 93 to 94 is an A-, 95 to 98 is an A, and 99 to 100 is an A+.
"It was never our intent to raise that," Burmeister said.
However, criticism remained for other aspects of the proposal.
Specifically, teachers would no longer deduct points if work is turned in late. Administrators say grades should truly reflect of how much knowledge students gained in a class. They said teachers would still deal with students who turn in assignments late, just not through the grade itself.
"The behaviors are just as important as the achievement, but it doesn't reflect what the student knows about the content," said Lisa Kujawa, assistant superintendent for student learning. "It just reflects some of the behaviors that we need to work on."
But some parents disagreed with that, saying students who turn in work late should not be treated the same as those who do the right thing and complete assignments on time.
Parents also wondered if dropping the standard to pass from 70 to 67 was a good thing.
Administrators said that represents a compromise between the middle school and the high school grading scale. It is now 70 at the high school and 60 at the middle school, and the district wants those scales to match up.
School board members said several questions still need to be answered and want to give the proposal a closer look during a committee meeting on Sept. 24. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the district offices, 7630 S. 10th St.
In the meantime, the high school and middle school will operate under the same grading scales and procedures as previous school years.
Grading changes overview
A committee of teachers and principals spent more than a year researching and discussing changes to grading practices at the high school and middle school level.
The following is the proposed grading scale for 6th grade through 12th grade:
F 66 and below
These are best practices the committee identified for reporting achievement:
- Behaviors such as attendance, effort, participation, adherence to class rules, etc. should not be included in the grades; include only achievement.
- Marks for "work" submitted late should not be reduced; teachers should provide support for the learner and focus on whether the learning standard was met.
- Limit the use of points for extra credit or use of bonus points; seek only evidence that more work has resulted in a higher level of achievement.
- Provide clear descriptions of achievement expectations; use evidence gathered by implementing quality assessments.
- Use summative evidence and assessments to determine grades. Homework should count no more than 10 percent of the final grade and only included when feedback is provided by the teacher. Homework that is simply checked off as being completed should not be included in the student's grade.
- Include students as part of the grading process; they can and should play key roles in assessment and grading and ultimately it will promote their achievement.
- Zeros should not be included in the grade determination when evidence is missing or as punishment; use alternatives, such as reassessing to determine real achievement. Indicate that assignments are incomplete or that there is insufficient evidence available to encourage students and give opportunities to complete missing assignments.