After months of discussions, a new grading scale has been put in place for Oak Creek's high school and two middle schools.
The Oak Creek-Franklin School Board settled on a grading scale that blends a few options that have been bandied about over the last few months. The following is the scale to be put in place starting in the 2013-14 school year:A+ 98-100 A 94-97 A- 90-93 B+ 87-89 B 84-86 B- 81-83 C+ 78-80 C 75-77 C- 72-74 D+ 69-71 D 66-88 D- 63-65 F 0-62
Board member Mark Verhalen worked with Superintendent Sara Burmeister and proposed the scale adopted in the board's meeting Monday. Verhalen said it was something of a compromise between two other options the board had considered.
"I thought it was pretty fair the way things were divided up," Verhalen said.
The proposal passed on a 3-2 vote, with board members Kathleen Borchardt and Sheryl Cerniglia in opposition. They favored an option in which 65 percent is needed for a D-, with grade levels rising in increments of three (68 is needed for D, 71 for a D+, and so on).
"(That option), in my opinion, best suits our kids," Cerniglia said.
The board also considered adopting the current 10-point middle school scale for both the high school and middle schools: 90 percent for an A-, 80 percent for a B-, and so on.
Monday's vote concluded a debate started last September when district officials proposed aligning grading scales at the high school and middle schools.
Several parents criticized the the initial proposal—as well as other grading practices—because they said it would put high school students at a disadvantage when they compete for college admission and scholarships.
Throughout the process, board members had to balance fairness with making sure students are still challenged. They disliked the middle school scale, for example, because they felt 60 percent was too low of a standard of passing. But Verhalen and some parents also said that 95 percent was too high of a threshold for an A.
Aligning the high school and middle school grading scales was one of several recommendations from a committee of teachers and principals, who spent more than a year researching and discussing changes to grading practices.