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Grading Policy Changes Will Get Closer Look at October Meeting

A committee will talk about adjustments to the high school and middle school grading scale and other proposed changes to grading policies.

Proposed changes to grading policies at Oak Creek's high school and middle schools will be discussed in depth at a meeting Oct. 22.

A proposal that includes adjustments to the grading scales at Oak Creek High School and the district's two middle schools, as well as a policy that teachers would not deduct points for work turned in late, has come under criticism over the past few weeks.

Those were two of several changes proposed by a committee that spent more than a year researching and discussing grading practices.

School board members earlier this month postponed a vote so that the proposal could get a closer look.

Superintendent Sara Burmeister said the board wanted to devote a whole meeting to this issue, rather than add it to the agenda of another meeting, and Oct. 22 was the next date with no conflicts with parent-teacher conferences and when all board members would be available.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at West Middle School. The committee is expected to give a presentation on the changes and take comments from the public.

In the meantime, Burmeister said in a letter to parents of middle and high school students that the grading scales this year will remain the same as past years.

Grading scales

Present grading scale at East and West middle schools:

A+ 99-100
A 93-98
A- 90-92
B+ 88-89
B 83-87
B- 80-82
C+ 78-79
C 73-77
C- 70-72
D+ 68-69
D 63-67
D- 60-62
F 0-59

Present grading scale at Oak Creek High School:

A+ 99-100
A 95-98
A- 93-94
B+ 91-92
B 87-90
B- 85-86
C+ 83-84
C 79-82
C- 77-78
D+ 75-76
D 72-74
D- 70-71
F 0-69

Proposed grading scale for the high school and middle schools:

A+ 99-100
A 95-98
A- 93-94
B+ 91-92
B 86-90
B- 84-85
C+ 82-83
C 77-81
C- 75-76
D+ 73-74
D 68-72
D- 66-67
F 0-65

OC neighbor September 21, 2012 at 05:52 PM
The "raising the bar" sounds good. However the bar typically gets raised on the students the are higher acheivers. The average students still get the a safety net. Understand that more difficult courses have less questions on quizzes and tests because the problems take longer to complete. If a student gets one wrong on a 5 question test that takes them down to a C. It takes 7 more perfect tests to regain an A for the class. With most classes having 10 test/quizzes per quarter, the margin of error is 1 wrong for a whole quarter. The doesn't teach our kids to acheive. it teaches them them that no matter how hard I work, 1 mistake could pul their GPA down. Our kids need to have a chance to excell. Especially when they compete against student with traditional grading scales. Level playing field is what is called for, not wild expectations that have no correlation to understanding.
Be Logical September 21, 2012 at 09:18 PM
What's getting lost in the discussion on grading scale policy is that there are significant policies in effect currently which go against traditional education principles. Why should any student be allowed to continously take a test over and over again until he eventually passes it? Why would tardiness, or failing to show up for a class NOT be a consideration in a student's overall grade? Why would conduct in class also not be relevant to their grade? These are fundamental concepts of education, that are being thrown out for the sake of trying to dumb down the system, hike up graduation rates, and avoid having real discussions with students with consequences to back it up. And I'm confident these policies are not coming from the teachers, who would be the first to tell you that discipline has taken a back seat in recent years.
Mark Schaaf September 21, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I added the present vs. proposed grading scales at the high school and middle school so people can get a better idea of the changes being discussed. The other policy changes under consideration can be found in this previous story: http://oakcreek.patch.com/articles/school-board-delays-vote-on-grading-policy-changes
Rose J September 24, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Walk through the halls of the high school after hours and see how those kids act. They are disrespectful in their actions and how they talk. The night of open house I witness this and just Wednesday night when I picked up my son after school. Lets raise the bar and parents discpline your children and dont leave it up to the teachers. Lets get some priorities in order.
OCHS Parent September 24, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Please, Raising the bar is important but let's no lose sight on the fact that the majority of schools have lower requirment to achieve a letter grade level. This translates into lower GPA for the same work. Let for what is best for the people at both ends of the scale. Low end should pass on merrit and high end should be allowed the same opportunity as other schools and not be disadvantaged by the grade scale. Please take a look at the grade scale plot as an attached picture above.

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