Rounding grades


Parker Anderson

Before technology came along, students would change their F’s into A’s by adding it on to their papers. It is also a play on words since the story is about rounding grades, and the F was rounded.

Parker Anderson, Staff Writer

With the sudden switch to standards based grading, there is a lot of debate about rounding grades. If a student would get a seven out of eight on an assignment, it would give them a B+ in the class. For most students, they would just accept the 87.5% and move on, while everyone else would get tons of anxiety because they could not get an A.

Standard based grading is a new system of grading in the Johnston district where, instead of grading from a ten point scale, teachers grade from an eight point scale, removing the possibility of pluses or minuses. “I am not a strong supporter of standard based grading, I was in AP stats which was an extreme version of it,” Emily Bechtel ’20 said. “I know we were a pilot class for the whole new system where they would not give out letter grades and they would give out developing, mastery and proficient. You did not know your grade until it was all finalized after the final and everything so it became very frustrating. Since it was the first time we had used standard based grading, the teacher did not really understand the grading system very well so it became difficult to learn.”

A lot of students generally know that teachers do not typically round up grades near the end of the semester, although some teachers will round up if asked politely. Even though people assume that there is no real policy for rounding up grades. “I would say it is a very individual practice, there is not a specific thing that we have in our policy that says you have to or you do not have too,” vice principal Jerry Stratton. “It is more of a personal preference by teachers.”

With students, seniors and juniors are newly introduced to standered based grading. For sophomores, standard based is the only way they know. “The old system was easier because everyone knows how it works and what you need to get each letter grade, plus thats how colleges do it,” Bechtel said. “So in the end, the whole idea of standard based grading, not knowing your grade and focusing on learning because kids will still convert it and it will need to be converted on a college transcript anyway.”

Using standard based grading helps students visualize how they are being graded. “It depends on how you use it, but I personally love it,” english teacher Matt Lakis said. “I think it is helpful for kids to see what our expectations are and that gives students feedback that is specific to those expectations rather than being kind of general and just giving out a letter grade.”

An argument that could be if teachers were more efficient in creating assessments and assignments then they would not need a policy for rounding grades. With the new system of grading though, they are not as efficient in picking which grade number each student deserves. That is just how Standard based works, the teachers are not at fault.  That can cause problems when students get a six for missing something and another student gets a seven for missing the same thing but with a different teacher.

Overall, everyone will have their own opinions about changing to standard based grading, but it is happening.