School Board Zeroes In On New Grading Scale
Ongoing discussions over the best grading scales and practices in Oak Creek schools continued Monday night. A new grading scale could be adopted in December.
The Oak Creek-Franklin School Board appears close to a consensus on a new grading scale for the district's high school and two middle schools, though it may conflict with what parents want.
After discussions that started at the beginning of the school year, the board was presented with five grading-scale options at a meeting Monday night. Among them: keeping the status quo, adopting the current high school scale, adopting the current middle school scale and two different blends of the middle and high school scales.
Board members favored a blend of the scales that puts equal distance between each grade. Several said they liked that scale because of the equidistance between grades and a higher standard for a passing grade.
However, a handful of parents who attended the meeting said they preferred adopting the current middle school scale for both the high school and middle schools.
Parents said that scale would allow Oak Creek students to better compete for college admission and scholarships. School Board President Frank Carini said he generally favored that scale as well but did not support 60 percent needed for passing, saying that benchmark was too low.
Here's how the scales compare:
|School Board preference||Current middle school scale|
The board could vote on a new grading scale as early as its Dec. 10 meeting.
Monday's meeting was the latest in a series of public discussions after a committee made up of teachers and administrators spent a year and a half researching best grading practices.
As part of that work, the committee wanted the scales at the high school and the district's two middle schools to match up, and proposed a new grading scale for the 2012-13 school year.
After that was met with criticism from many high school parents, the school district decided to hold off on implementing a new scale until next year so that more discussions could be had.
Grading scales weren't the only unpopular part of the committee's recommendations. Some parents, board members and even other teachers are against practices that de-emphasize homework, allow for as many test re-takes as a student wants and exclude behavior from grades.
Those practices are a bigger issue than grading scales, board member Sheryl Cerniglia said.
"The real issue is the test re-take policy ... and whether homework should count or not count," Cerniglia said.
Superintendent Sara Burmeister said the school board will review those practices at a future date. For now, the district wants input just on grading scales, she said.