The Fort Worth Independent School District has implemented a new grading policy for current freshman and future high school students to give a better reflection of student performance said Dr. Sharon Meng, FWISD assistant superintendent of advance, accelerated and innovative learning.
The goal of the new graduated GPA scale is to produce transcripts that are most descriptive of student performance and achievement Meng wrote in an email.
Rather than a large group of students having the same GPA, the new scale will create a distinction between students who performed at the top of each of the grading scale levels, Allyson Eaton, Paschal AP English Language and Composition teacher, said.
“From my understanding of it, I think the district is just looking for a way to really reward kids for their level of work,” Eaton said.
The new grading policy includes a revised system for determining GPA and class rank according to a district press release.
Under the previous system all grades within a letter grade were assigned the same weight. For instance all A’s would get the same weight, Meng said. This meant a student receiving a grade of 100 percent would get the same grade point as another receiving a 91 percent.
Now classes are ranked into three tiers, according to the district. The Tier 1 level consists of advanced placement, international baccalaureate and dual credit courses and is calculated on a 5 point scale. Tier 2 includes Pre-AP or Honors Courses and is calculated on a 4.5 point scale. The regular courses make up the Tier 3 level and are calculated a 4 point scale.
The new system will differentiate among the ten possible grades a student could make within each letter grade and account for the academic level of the course. For example, in the more challenging Tier 1 level, a 94 percent and 97 percent will correspond to a 4.8 GPA and a 5.0 GPA. The same grades would receive a 3.8 GPA and 4.0 GPA on the Tier 3 level.
Eaton also believed the new grading policy would encourage students to take more challenging classes and push themselves to higher academic levels.
Paschal freshman Madalene Culver is also staying optimistic about the new policy.
“I feel like it’s stressful but I mean a lot of things are stressful,” Culver said.
She said some students are upset their lower A will not rank the same as a 100 percent anymore. However, students who make high A’s in their classes are happy their work will pay off.
“I think that [the new policy] is as fair as it could be and it’s going to wind up being a good thing for us,” Eaton said.