The decision was made last week by the Achievement School District, the government operated charted schools in Tennessee, to change the grading scales in those schools in an effort to help to ultimately do away with an A-F grading scale and align it more so along the lines of T-CAP scores with a mastery of course subjects earning an Advanced or Proficient, and anything below those lines received a standard of High Basic, Low Basic, and Below Basic. The new grading scale gives students a wider range to score better on assignments and allows them a larger range to score better in their core area subjects. The Achievement School District feels as if it is a good start in turning these failing schools around, but is it really a good start?
Parents are more than leery of the new grading scale, and I do not blame them. The way the new grading scale is set up, a D grade earned by a student in an ASD school within the school year of 2012-2013 ranged between a 70-74, the new grading scale has been set to range from a 58-47. On top of that being an additional 7 grading points added, but for students it means that they can master at a minimum of 58% of their school work and still pass. In my opinion, the new grading scale found in ASD schools is anything BUT beneficial.
When I first heard about the grading scale change and how the new ranges were set, I was immediately upset. As a future educator I felt as if the change was not a help, but a crutch. I did feel that there were other alternatives that could have been devised to save these failing charter schools instead of what feels like giving them a passing grade without them actually knowing the material.
The schools in the Achievement School District in Memphis are all located in the lower income areas, areas where residents are more likely to receive government assistance and live in poverty. They are areas inhabited by our minority brothers and lower class Whites. They are people who cannot afford to move to the areas of town with better schools and have to utilize the neighborhood schools.
What upset me about the grading scale change was the fact that they have ultimately set in place this new standard of grading that does not show in favor of the lesson being taught and the comprehension of what they are learning, but how much of work is completed and how much is correct. So from my understanding a student can have a quiz with a hundred questions and they answer the ones that they know, say maybe 47/100. You mean to tell me that they are getting graded for that 47% work? In what world does that make sense? It upsets me that they have set the standard so low for these students. They are setting those future generations up for failure accepting mediocrity & giving them a piss poor excuse for an education that would ultimately not allow them to succeed & perform as well as those White kids that went to better schools. I see it as keeping the disenfranchised, disenfranchised.
Although there are some who are not directly affected that do not have a formulated opinion on the issue, take a look at this article posted by local WMCTV News Channel 5 it may make you gain one .