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From the Bulldogger: High School Begins New Grading System

It’s been a month and some odd days since school started, and life as a student is beginning to feel routine at North Platte High School. However, this school year is not the same as last. North Platte Public Schools has changed their grading system to an equal-interval, 10 point scale. “We want to make sure that the grading scale that we use is fair, accurate, consistent, and supportive,” Superintendent Ron Hanson said.

 

In a Bulldogger survey, a majority of students think that the new grading scale will increase their grade point average (GPA). Senior Zane Leibhart said, “Of course it’s nice because you have a better chance to get an A.” Leibhart has also heard that teachers are going to try to make classes harder in order to cut down the number of A’s.

 

Most students agree with the change but there are a few who disagree. Senior Jake French feels wary about it because it is the first year that NPPSD has tried this. “As a senior, this is our only shot. If it fails miserably, it could limit where we go to college next year, and how much money we will receive in scholarships,” he said.  How the equal-interval scale works is that students will be given 4-points for an A, 3-points for a B, 2-points for a C, 1-point for a D, and 0-points for a F. So far the Infinite Campus website has not been configured to comply with the new scale, but the district is working on it.

 

Additionally, the grades will be weighted, making summative work worth 70 percent and formative worth 30 percent. Summative work falls into the category of chapter and/or unit tests and formative is everything else.  Sophomore Montana Fox doesn’t agree with this. “We get a lot more homework than we get tested so the homework should be worth more. A lot of kids don’t do very well on tests, but they do really good on homework,” she said.

 

Grades are being split into two different categories. One section is for conduct and the other for academics. “We are creating static noise because we are bringing behaviors into academics,” Hanson said. There will be a separate spot on the report card where skills and conduct issues will be documented.

 

The worst score any student can receive on assignments is 50 percent. Also students cannot be punished for late work, and will be able to retake everything. However a 50 percent corresponds to a failing grade and the student will not pass. “[The equal-interval scale] helps crate a profile of student grades that more accurately represents what students know in relation to the standards. We want to be able to support you, not punish you when you are at school. If you want to get a 4.0 then you should have the chance to get it,” Assistant principal Scott Siegel said.

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