Teachers’ thoughts on new grading system


Vivian Duong

Infinite Campus where grades are now being inputted can only raise grades.

With the continuation of online schooling, the Chandler Unified School District has set a guideline as to how the rest of the school year will follow concerning how the grading system will continue. The system has now been set for the students in a way that grades can now only be used to raise 3rd Quarter grades. 

Grades starting and ending from the school year can now either be raised one letter grade higher, however, if a student decides not to do the online work, their grade from 3rd Quarter will be posted as the final 4th Quarter grade for them. Which raises some opinions among teachers as to how far a student’s motivation can go. 

“I think the new grading system is a huge opportunity for students [as it is] weighted in the student’s favor, but as teachers, we are not there to guide and direct instruct our students, so it’s most likely the fairest option,” Art Department Chair Sharon Biemond asserts. The new grading system has presented its several benefits to the students as grades from now on can only be raised. 

Biemond continues as she mentions that she is “not sure there is a more fair option at this point.” With the adaption to online school, there is not much room for teachers to provide their students with the entirety of the full classroom experience. Especially coming from an art class which is dedicated to hands-on projects, it becomes hard for the students which seem to be the only fair option for the students to not be hindered down by grades now. 

“The grading system largely releases students from accountability [however] I like teaching AP because kids are already intellectual workhorses,” AP Government and Human Geography teacher Elizabeth Tompkins says. As she explains how AP students already have the motivation to do their work on their own accord.   

“The reality of College Board Exams already motivates students [and] I’m even more motivated to give students the best chance to pass,” Tompkins continues. With AP exams looming soon, she establishes that the idea of giving her students the best chance as possible, as well as the students themselves to earn that college credit is already enough for the students to practice on their own. 

However, some teachers are relying upon the student’s motivation to do online work. “It’s tough, I’m collaborating with a few other art teachers to create interesting assignments that can be done with all material from home,” Biemond mentions. Trying to get her students to get up and be active. 

“​It’s good since our district had to adjust grading to meet the needs of the changing times. Just like students, I had to learn to adapt to it since it’s so different than before,” Honors and Dual English teacher Catherine Copic explains how the new system for online school has become the best viable chance for grades to be inputted.  With several variables that had to be taken into consideration, students now cannot be held to the previous standard as mass learning online is something new to many individuals. 

“Students can choose to work a little bit every day or complete it in a longer sitting, we wanted to offer students choices about what and when they are working,” Copic continues. As such factors taken into consideration of the students as they are sharing electronic devices in their home, or having to wait until the evening or weekends to work since they might have to work, or help with family duties during regular school hours. 

“Learning comes in many forms and I suspect that many students are realizing that they are in the driver’s seat now steering their own individualized learning,” Copic mentions. It is now up to the student’s sole responsibility to do their own work that prepares them into the real world. 

“I know students may feel unmotivated to complete assignments, but at the same time, it’s good to keep one’s brain active and engaged,” Biemond stresses. As the idea, especially during times of quarantine, is still vitally important to engage in activities and take a break from electronics to focus on healthy habits. 

In a matter of times now, with several variables that online school has now come across to, the option for the new grading system is now possibly the fairest opportunity to students. However, it it now on the basis of the student’s decisions on whether to complete the work that teachers are handing to them.