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What are your thoughts on the following recommendations?

387 registered responses


Other behaviors that research suggests could be separated from grading include oral presentations, class participation, work habits and neatness, effort, class attendance, punctuality of assignments or class behavior/attitude.

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What other thoughts/concerns do you have regarding recommendation one?

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Below are sample grading scales for review. Next to each scale are calculations of how 3 students (high achieving, mid-achieving & low achieving) would fare academically if 6 of their assignments were graded using that scale. Do you have suggestions of a grading scale for the committee to consider?

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What other thoughts/concerns do you have regarding recommendation two?

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What other areas of grading inconsistency do you feel are most pressing in our schools? This could include, but is not limited to, the use of retakes/redos on assignments, the weighting of grades, the assignment of extra credit and the acceptance of late work.

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What other thoughts/concerns do you have regarding recommendation three?

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Name not shown inside Virginia Beach
April 5, 2016, 6:25 PM
  • Other behaviors that research suggests could be separated from grading include oral presentations, class participation, work habits and neatness, effort, class attendance, punctuality of assignments or class behavior/attitude.

    Homework is not busywork. It is formative assessment so that teachers can know what students can actually do. School is not a spectator sport; students must actively engage and take control of their learning. Just as you expect a student to practice driving a car outside of driver's ed class, students should be expected to practice the concepts discussed in class.
    Foreign language, theater, science lab - all of these courses require class participation or the student cannot learn the content.
    We do students a disservice if we do not require them to adhere to deadlines. The IRS expects me to file taxes on time. My employer expects me to complete my work on time. If students are not expected to complete work on time, would it be possible for a student to submit a project in June that was assigned (and due) in September?

  • What other thoughts/concerns do you have regarding recommendation one?

    Colleges expect students to complete work on time, to participate in class and give oral presentations. The workplace requires employees to meet deadlines and present their ideas to management. This initiative denies students the opportunities to learn these skills.

  • Below are sample grading scales for review. Next to each scale are calculations of how 3 students (high achieving, mid-achieving & low achieving) would fare academically if 6 of their assignments were graded using that scale. Do you have suggestions of a grading scale for the committee to consider?
    No response.
  • What other thoughts/concerns do you have regarding recommendation two?

    Is this just an attempt to increase on-time graduation rate? Students can avoid the "zero effect" by doing their work. Why does the committee want to lower standards? Using one of these alternate scales will not really help students. It will not take long for the student to determine exactly how many assignments they can ignore and still get an acceptable grade. The problem is that the assignments they avoid may be the very ones tested on the SAT, SOL, and in subsequent work.

  • What other areas of grading inconsistency do you feel are most pressing in our schools? This could include, but is not limited to, the use of retakes/redos on assignments, the weighting of grades, the assignment of extra credit and the acceptance of late work.

    Why must every teacher grade in exactly the same way? Different disciplines require different standards. What is needed or appropriate in foreign language may be different from what is needed in science or math. Just as different careers require different skill sets, so do classes. When and how are our students going to learn to adapt? College? Workplace? That is too late.

  • What other thoughts/concerns do you have regarding recommendation three?

    Allow teachers to accommodate the various needs of their students instead of insisting that every child be treated exactly the same - I thought this district valued differentiation and individualization.

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Recommendation One: Assess academic progress separate from behavior/work habits

The current School Board policy (6-72) on assessing scholastic achievement says: The School Board believes that the most important assessment of student learning is conducted by teachers as they observe and evaluate students in the context of ongoing classroom activities. The teacher, as an agent of the school board, has the responsibility of evaluating student progress and proving grades to represent scholastic achievement. Grading is not to be used for discipline purposes.

Viewing the act of grading solely as a communication of a student’s mastery of content and also recognizing the importance of sound study habits to student success, the Fair and Equitable Grading Committee recommends both categories of performance should be clearly communicated to students and parents. However, the committee suggests reporting progress for academics and behaviors apart from one another.

This means the final grade on any assessment should reflect a student’s academic understanding of the stated learning objectives, and his/her individual work habits should be assessed - and reported - separately. The committee further recommends the use of a proficiency rubric to assess and report work habits. Examples of work habits may include but are not limited to: homework completion, timeliness, and organization.  

As an example of what this reporting could look like, see the sample report card below:

sample report card


What behaviors do you feel should be considered and graded separately by teachers? These behaviors could include, but are not limited to, homework completion, timeliness and organization. 


Recommendation Two: Revise the current grading scale

According to School Board Regulation 6-72.1, the current grading scale is:

  • A = (93 – 100)
  • A- = (90 – 92)
  • B+ = (87 – 89)
  • B = (83 – 86)
  • B- = (80 – 82)
  • C+ = (77 – 79)
  • C = (73 – 76)
  • C- = (70 – 72)
  • D+ = (67 – 69)
  • D = (64 – 66)
  • E = Below 64

The committee felt changes needed to be made to the school division’s current grading scale. Specifically, the committee agreed today’s 100-point grading scale is too heavily weighted toward student failure. For example, in the current grading scale students have 36 opportunities for a passing grade and 64 opportunities for a failing grade.

grading scale diagram

The committee recommends the division explore grading scale options that do not eliminate zeros but mitigate their impact on the student's final grade.


Example One:

sample grading scale 1

Example Two:

sample grading scale 2

Current Scale:


Recommendation Three: Make the Fair and Equitable Grading Committee a standing committee to review and monitor division grading practices and make recommendations as needed.

Recognizing the complexity of the conversation around inconsistencies with grading, the committee recommends this work continue on a regular basis. The committee acknowledges this set of recommendations does not address all concerns about grading, and notes that ongoing dialogue on these issues will only enhance VBCPS grading practices.

 

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