By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin
Temecula Valley Educators Association member Larry Thompson grades papers for his English class.
A number of schools in California have bid farewell to D’s and F’s. Some have gotten rid of pluses and minuses. And others have eliminated traditional report cards with letter grades altogether, replacing them with “standards-based” report cards that have numbers instead of letters.
The changes have taken many by surprise. Letter grades, after all, have been the status quo for over a century, accompanied by teacher comments such as “Johnny shows excellent progress” or “Jenny talks too much in class.” These days, however, school districts and colleges throughout the state are ditching tradition and revamping their grading systems. And as a result, grades are all over the map in California’s schools.
The trend toward experimental grading methods has led to confusion for students and parents, and is taxing for teachers already dealing with increasing class sizes and workloads.