Community News — 25 June 2009

Starting next year, T.C. Williams students will be judged and ranked a little differently.

The School Board last Thursday voted unanimously in favor of changing the grading system at Alexandrias public high school beginning July 1 from the existing and dated six-point scale to the new 10-point scale recommended by Superintendent Morton Sherman.

The new scale moves the passing grade from 64 to 60 percent and the numerical grade required to earn an A from 94 to 90, as well as placing additional weights to any student getting a C in advanced coursework, according to the new scale.

Another notable change, made possible by the new student information system being implemented July 1, includes greater use of numerical grades in keeping track of student achievement.

During the public address portion of Thursdays meeting and previous School Board sessions, parents and students had expressed interest in making the new policy retroactive that is, re-weighting grades earned before July 1 with the new rubric. However, a proposed amendment to that end did not pass.

For me, I just believe that when you put a new system in place, a new approach, you draw the line and say, Prospectively, the best way to make a level playing field is by making the rules the same for all kids from this point forward, Sherman said prior to the Boards vote, responding to a question about the drawbacks of making the grading change retroactive.

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