Letter: Disappointed in desire to lower grading scale
By Elburn Herald
on October 22, 2009
I was deeply disappointed when I read about the parents’ petition asking the Kaneland School Board to consider lowering the grading scale.
If these parents want their children to get better grades, why not do it the old fashioned way and motivate their sons and daughters to work harder and study more? Why are they not worried about learning?
Changing the grading scale might give your child a higher grade, but it will not give him or her greater knowledge, a better education or a higher ACT score. Rather than ask for better performance, they’re just asking for better gradesâ€”a free lunch, so to speak. That’s like fiddling with your car’s odometer in order to claim that it’s getting better gas mileage than your neighbor’s car.
With Kaneland High School on the list for failing to make adequate yearly progress in standardized test scores, according to the No Child Left Behind Act, handing out more Aâ€™s and Bâ€™s will not help. The district (and the parents) should be focused on strategies to improve teaching and learning. We should be raising expectations, not lowering them.
In my view, this is also a bit of a red herring. I have a junior at Kaneland who frequently complains to me about the grading scale, so on one level I understand the relief these parents are seeking. What these parents may not understand, and what I explain to my son, is that changing the grading scale will not necessarilyâ€”and should not, in my opinionâ€”change the grades.
Ultimately, we have to trust the teachers and the schools to determine what is an A performance, B performance, etc. Whatever scale we use, an A should reflect outstanding achievement, not just good achievement.