Windsor Lock revising grading system after backlash

The Windsor Locks school system is changing the grading system (WFSB)

A decision to eliminate letter grades in schools is expected to be revised after one school district received backlash from the community.

Windsor Locks moved away from the traditional A's, B's, and C's, and adopted a new grading method.

The letters had been replaced with numbers for the grading system.

Four is the highest and zero is the lowest.

Since there are still five performance levels, many might be asking themselves what’s the difference.

The biggest difference is that only 4’s and 3’s are considered passing grades.

Anything lower won’t get students to the next step, which can be frustrating and confusing for students who may have had some C’s sprinkled in their report cards in the past.

At a meeting on Thursday night, parents and students complained to the Board of Education about the system.

The board listen and voted to start revising it.

"It doesn't matter what you call these levels, these performance levels are rooted in a growth mindset," said Superintendent Dr. Susan Bell.

Students have been measured by the mastery system for five years. Bell says it's meant to push students to do better.

"It should be hard to master standards. It should be hard to get a high school diploma," said Bell.

Previously, Bell said 24 credits and a D minus average was all it took for a student to earn a diploma.

However, in the effort to raise the standards, students say they don't have a clear understanding of where they stand with the new grading system.

“The idea is mastery of a skill over just getting a grade and moving on,” said Bell.

"You can't grade someone on four grads. You're just putting them in sections," said Alex Bushnik, a Windsor Locks student.

Windsor Locks isn’t the only district with the change.

Bell says Naugatuck, Wallingford, Ellington, and Farmington have some variation of this grading system or they’re working toward it.

A vote was taken to establish a committee, which will include parents, teachers, and students.

Together, they'll make revisions to the current grading system.

"If those labels are keeping students from realizing their full potential, I don't want to stand in the way of that," said Bell.

The committee is going to be assembled by the end of the month. It's unclear how fat they'll work, or when the changes will be implemented.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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