Education Editorial: Grading Debates

There seems to be no final grade for the debate about grades. The value of a "B" has torn communities for years with advocates passionately arguing their positions.

Is a "B" 88 to 94 or is it 80 to 90? Do students with the "tighter" system get penalized in admissions? Does a more transient population of families offer comparisons between states with and without the more "open" systems? Do students perform better under a more "liberal" grading system?

With a seemingly asymmetrical cycle school divisions and school boards debate the issue and adjustments are made to accommodate the variety of policy perspectives. Rarely do these conclusions have any impact on student performance, competitive advantage or disadvantage in college admissions…or even grades.

In reality, changes in the numbers applied to grades seldom produce any more or less A's, B's, C's, D's and F's. Teachers adapt!!

Having once sent letters to the colleges to which our school division's students had been admitted over the previous five years, an ivy league president responded with a brief note, "send me more".

Four-year selective colleges and universities frequently use a proprietary index that reflects the historical performance of students from specific high schools. While the GPA (grade point average) is the single best predictor of college success, it is difficult to "game it".

Work hard, take a demanding curriculum, and serve your school and community…admissions officers will recognize you as more than a number.

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