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Students, staff share their opinion on the four-point scale

The new four-point grading scale is a departure from the traditional 100-point percentage scale that many people are familiar with. Some staff use this pilot as a way to grade everything assigned in their classes. 


Andrew Comb, director of curriculum and assessment, feels the four-point scale is a more accurate way to measure kids.


“Having a four-point scale is more consistent. They’re more fair, especially to anyone who gets a zero at any point,” Comb said.


Having a 100-point scale technically implies that there are 100 different levels of performance on a task, which is not accurate. According to Comb, having a four-point scale gives more accuracy to the overall grade. For example, if a student places an assignment in a 100-point scale class and then forgets to turn something in, they now have a 100% and a 0% in the gradebook and the grade averages to a 50%. On the other hand, a four-point scale would average the grade to be a C instead of an E. 


“The goal is to talk to teachers and students, and understand if this four-point scale is a successful thing that’s helping students, and how we can eventually make the following years a one way we grade,” Comb said.


The four-point scale makes it easy for teachers to grade and is more efficient for students because when teachers are grading assignments they either give a number between 4-1 which indicates either an A, B, C, or D. When teachers start grading from a 100-point scale, they have pluses and minuses, which are meaningless  because they do not affect a student’s GPA in any way. Many students think they impact their GPA so having a four-point scale helps reduce stress from students because they’re either getting an A, B, C, or D.


“A four-point scale is simpler to me and more straightforward,” history teacher Christopher White said “I think it makes grading simpler because on any given assignment there’s just zero to four, as opposed to zero to 100. By the same token, it also helps students when there’s missing assignments or zeros, kind of one of the main reasons that people like the four-point scale and people advocate for the four-point scale.”


Some staff like the idea of having a four-point scale because it helps release some stress from students, it helps students that struggle with turning in their assignments, and the fact that students are allowed to retake a test if they score poorly. However, some feel there are things that need to be tweaked.


“I like the four-point scale because it helps students,” family and consumer science teacher Heidi Pendergraff said. “However I also struggle with the break off of each score. I wish that the breakthrough should be all one point so that it could be more in line. I feel like if they were all one point the four-point scale would be more representative of the A, B,C, or D so I would change the cut off of the scale but overall, I like the concept of a four-point scale,” she said. 


Food science teacher Kacy Bryon has similar opinions about the four-point scale.


“I think that the four-point gradient scale is a great idea in terms of making sure that everything is equal for students and especially trying to eliminate the power of the zero. But overall, I think what’s happening and what we’re seeing is that students that normally would get As are struggling to get as many As and then the students who you know, maybe aren’t in class as much are able to get Cs, because the zero isn’t as powerful anymore,” Byron s

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aid. “I think students are struggling with it a little bit right now because it gets very confusing that a 3.5 to four is an A, when you know in other classes, it’s like the 90 to 100 is an A so it’s like a complete shift and  everyone is so used to that grading system. One of the reasons I like the four-point scale is because the scale completely eliminates the positives and negatives of the A- versus B+. I feel like when students hear that they have an overall B+ versus hearing you have a B- one is a lot more encouraging because students think they’re right there to get an A-.”


Some students have also voiced support for the four-point scale.


“I feel like in the beginning it was hard to get used to just because I am a senior, so I got implemented in my last year here. At first it was hard to tell what grade I had in the class and I kept having to look it up,” senior Lindsay Dahlinger said “However, now that I’m used to it, I actually like it because I feel like it’s easier for you to bring your grade up if you get a bad grade on something like a test because it’s out of four instead of out of like 40 or out of 50.” . 


Freshman Haley Audette also prefers the four-point scale.


“As a freshman, I could definitely say it’s a big jump from middle school. However, I like this system a lot better because I feel like it is more efficient than having the regular scale because you can do a lot more stuff with it and like make up a lot more stuff which will allow students to get better grades,” Audette said. 


The four-point scale pilot will continue for the rest of the school year. Administration is still working on it, and may tweak things after teachers give their feedback.


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Candice Mansour
Candice Mansour, Staff Writer

Candice Mansour is a senior at Novi High School. Her favorite subject in school is Math. Outside of school, her favorite thing to do is hang out with her sister (who is also her best friend). Many people describe her as brave, funny, outgoing, selfless, and hardworking. After high school, Candice sees herself going into medical school and studying to become an Anesthesiologist. You can contact her at her school email: [email protected] or her personal email: [email protected].

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