New grading system causes mixed emotions

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With the recent changes in grading in MCPS, teachers are forced to change how they grade because of the absence of semester exams, making quarter lengths longer and replacing semester exams with quarterly assessments. This change has affected teacher’s grading methods in different ways.
Teachers who teach a class that did not require an exam retain a similar system rather than the teachers who teach a class that require an exam. Teachers who taught class with an exam now have Required Quarterly Assessments (RQA) to grade but the teachers who teach a class with an exam have to grade them every quarter instead of twice a year with exams.
For AP classes grading has not changed because there were no semester exams to begin with. “It hasn’t changed the grading for me because I do not have any RQAs to grade. But it helps us be more aligned with each other,” psychology teacher Jennifer Bauer said.
Some teachers do not mind the change but others think it is too easy for students. Trend grading is when a class without an exam is graded based on the trend of the student’s grade. So if there is a downwards trend, the students will a lower grade and vice versa when the grade has a upwards trend. With trend grading out of the new system, the students typically receive the higher grade of the two quarters, making it easier for students to attain better grades. “We will not know how it affects us until the semester is over and it can potentially be easier for students to get a higher grade in the class,” English teacher Catherine Boswell said.
Some students like the new system better because it is easier for them. With the new system, students do not have the stress of studying for an exam to get the grade they want. Instead all they have to focus is maintaining the grade. “I like the new system better because I do not have to worry about the exam to maintain my grade and I have less stress because of that,” sophomore Justin Shim said.
Without exams, students also have more time to get their grades up if needed. The extra days can determine a grade of a quarter or a semester and students tend to need that extra time. But with this extra time, students do not get half days or days off like they used to with the old system during exam week. “I feel that the extra days we have in the quarter are beneficial to students because it is better to have more time than less time,” junior Jek Seo said.

 

Eric Lee

Staff Writer