GBASD adopts new grade system

Published 07/21 2014 10:50PM

Updated 07/21 2014 11:04PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Students in Green Bay are about to be evaluated in a new way, after a vote Monday night to revamp the district's grading system.

The familiar A, B, C, D, and F scoring system, will now include pluses and minuses, something district administrators hope incentivizes students to push for higher grades.

"We believe just simply adding the pluses and minuses will serve as an advantage to communication as well," Mark Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Continuous School Improvement, says.

A task force consisting of students, teachers, parents, and administrators spent the past year reviewing the change.

Jerrod Valley, a science teacher at Preble High School, was among the 85 percent of district teachers that favored the change.

"By giving us the power as teachers to give that student a 3.6 on their GPA as opposed to a 3.0," Valley says. "it's powerful. It helps the student and it helps the teacher correctly evaluate those students as well."

The move could dramatically improve GPA's for students not located at the very top of the class, but Smith and Valley both say it will not reflect a change in academic rigor. "We don't believe that changing the grading scale is just going to unilaterally increase GPA's," Smith says.

"We believe that teacher practices and expectations are really what hold a high standard of academic excellence for us."

"As a teacher," Valley adds, "I look at it as I can put those more challenging questions on their evaluations, allow them to make those errors. And it won't hurt their GPA. So it only helps the rigor. It doesn't hurt the rigor at all. This raises the bar in Green Bay."

The new grading scale will be implemented for the upcoming school year, and is not retroactive.

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