FWCS updates grading system
05 Aug 2021 — Journal Gazette
Expand View Collapse View
Ashley Sloboda

Fort Wayne Community Schools is scrapping a grading scale the superintendent says puts students : particularly high schoolers : at a competitive disadvantage.

The 30,000-student district is implementing a new system that redefines the percentage range for the five letter grades : A, B, C, D and F. Changes include adjusting the A range so it begins at 90% instead of 93%.

It takes effect this academic year, which begins Aug. 16.

Superintendent Mark Daniel announced the change Tuesday during a Facebook Live update. He noted teachers : mostly at the secondary level : began asking him to reevaluate the grading scale when he joined FWCS last summer.

"Our scale seems to be very challenging for our students to attain A's and A-pluses, specifically compared to other school districts," Daniel said.

The matter isn't trivial, he said, because students are pursuing the same opportunities as their peers locally, regionally and nationally.

"Our graduates are competing for scholarships, they're competing for locations or admittance to universities just like every other district across our area," Daniel said.

Krista Stockman, the district spokeswoman, said it makes sense to level the academic playing field.

"We were putting them at a competitive disadvantage," she said Wednesday.

The adjustments may also benefit students pursuing college credits. For example, Stockman said, students taking dual-credit classes must get at least a C to get the college credit. Under the previous scale, that meant a 75% or better. Now, C's begin at 70%.

Elementary and middle schools will use the same grading scale: 90-100% is A; 80-89% is B; 70-79% is C; 60-69% is D; and 0-59% is F. There is further distinction for pluses and minuses.

In the high school version, an F is 59%, and work not submitted counts as 40%.

Previously, missed assignments would default to 69%, which created a situation in which students could get a passing grade even if they didn't turn in a lot of assignments.

Daniel said he knows this wasn't intentional, but FWCS doesn't want students to adopt a "just getting by" attitude.

"Let's excel," Daniel said. "Let's see how we can continue to raise those scores, and let's also work with our students who are struggling to finish things, and we will help you along the way."

Anyone hoping the new grading scale will apply to previously earned grades is out of luck. There won't be any retroactive grade changes.

"We can't fix what happened in the past, but we can do our best going forward," Stockman said.


This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"FWCS updates grading system" Journal Gazette 05 Aug 2021: A1