A school district in Madison, Wisconsin, has made the controversial decision to abandon the common “A to F” grading system based in favor of a system that is “kinder” to students. Now, top students will be graded as “exceeding” while failing students will be “emerging.”
According to a report by the College Fix, the Madison Metropolitan School District has announced that they are doing away with the traditional “A-F” grading system in favor of a new system that is gentle on students.
The report, which was written by Christian Schneider, a parent in the school district, claims that the district has introduced four new categories to replace the traditional grading scale. Schneider noticed that his second-grade daughter’s report card featured words like “exceeding” and “emerging” instead of letter grades.
“Exceeding” – Student consistently exceeds grade-level expectations for the end of the year.
“Meeting” – Student consistently meets grade-level expectations for the end of the year.
“Developing” – Student is developing understanding and is approaching grade-level expectations for the end of the year.
“Emerging” – Student begins to show initial understanding of grade-level expectations for the end of the year.
Schneider points out that the new grading system doesn’t apply directly to a student’s performance in each subject. Instead, students are graded on their ability to work in groups and tell stories.
The two scales don’t match up largely because the new grades assigned don’t address a specific class or subject – they deal mostly with behavior. The “Exceeding-Emerging” scale applies to 40 different classifications. Instead of being graded on “math” or “science,” my daughter is being graded on “Tells a story or describes an experience,” “cooperates with partners and in groups,” and “understands and identifies stages in the life cycle of insects.”
Breitbart News reported in January 2019 that a guest speaker at American University told faculty members that it was racist to judge the quality of a student’s writing when grading a paper. The guest speaker, a professor in the University of Washington system, argued that traditional grading practices perpetuate “white supremacy.”