CCSD evaluates new grading policy

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:05 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Some parents and teachers are not happy about CCSD’s new grading policy. They expressed those concerns Thursday evening at the CCSD Board of Trustees meeting. The new grading regulations took effect in August 2021. No action was taken to change the policy at the meeting, it was a status check to find out how is the new system working.

“Next year, students will have 90 percent of their grade on summative. That means tests and quizzes: 90 percent. Teenagers tell me that there is no reason for this classwork because they are not rewarded for it,” contended teacher MaryAnn Powley.

CCSD said in a presentation, the goal of its new grading policy is to be equal, remove behavior from the grading process, and give students the chance for reassessment. However, teachers like Powley came before the Trustees to tell them the new grading policy isn’t working as intended.

“The scenario goes like this: student don’t do their classwork, so they don’t understand the material, consequently they are not ready for the test. They bomb the test and then they go to the teacher for a retake. The teacher is frustrated because the students didn’t do the classwork and now, they are requiring more time out of their busy lives to find another test. The student is frustrated because two weeks have gone by, they don’t understand the previous information they are taught and are now required to the makeup work to retake the test and now they are behind in class. It goes on and on,” Powley explained.

Trustee Linda Cavazos said parents also brought those concerns to her, students no longer being penalized for late work.

“Their kids are not doing the homework because it is not really required, it is just something that they choose to do. It is not going to be counted,” Cavazos relayed.

Rebecca Meyer CCSD’s Director of Assessment addressed that saying, “When we are approached about some of the misconceptions about the work that we are doing, we provide the research and the pathway, we do understand that this is a multiyear plan and it truly is shifting mindsets because we had a very traditional grading system, and we are moving toward a system that honors the purpose of assessment.”

Meyer explained the grading reform initiative will allow students to learn from mistakes and demonstrate mastery of the content throughout the school year.

“It does take some students longer to learn the same content,” Meyer asserted.

Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara also defended the major change.

“When you read articles, or you read out in the public that we are lowering the standards, that couldn’t be furthest thing from the truth. It is really supporting our students in scaffolding the information so that they can master the curriculum,” Jara contended.

The reassessment policy allowing students to turn in work late and retake tests was implemented for all students this school year.