Federal Way Public Schools grading system needs to be switched now | Letter

I am so pleased to see the Federal Way community so impassioned about the facilities bond. However, where is this same passion for another issue that affects all of our scholars? That issue being the grading system used in this school district as I wrote in a previous letter to the editor?

Grades and grade point average are two highly considered components of the university/scholarship acceptance triad, SATs and ACTs being the third. For those who argue that grades have minimum importance, tell that to students, parents, honor societies, universities, colleges, those who offer academic scholarships and employers. And, if grades/GPAs are so unimportant, let’s set up the entire school system to teach to the SAT and ACT and have all schools use a pass/fail system.

The bottom line is: grades/GPAs matter. So, what is the grading solution? The solution is to cross-reference the final grade with the plus/minus grading system rather than to cross-reference the final grade to an A-B-C-F system. Simple. Done. Success. Half of the grading problem inequities immediately solved. A grading solution so astonishingly simple that one wonders why that solution has not been implemented. Also, I say half because lower-tier standards are part of the total grade and can only be scored with a 1,2,3 or 4; again, no precision. So until we get rid of grades/GPAs, I again encourage everyone, along with all your friends and families, to contact our school board members and tell them, until proven otherwise, you want a grading system that does not place our scholars at a competitive disadvantage for entry into universities and for scholarships; and, that waiting for a two-year study to finish for a possible grading solution is intolerably long. Our scholars can’t wait, and you want the plus/minus grading solution implemented starting this school year.

Frank Comito, Federal Way

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