Letter: In support of current Kaneland grading scale
Kaneland School District opened in 1958 with a seven-point grading scale, but soon afterwards it was switched to a 10-point grading scale. It was changed back to the current scale in April of 1984.
While many parents have voiced concerns about the scale since the switch, there are many good reasons for the more demanding way.
Kaneland’s mission is to “guide and challenge all students to acquire knowledge, skills and values that will enable them to contribute and successfully participate in a diverse, democratic society.”
Yet last year, the percentage of students with grade point averages of 4.5 or higher was, in the senior class, 25 percent; in the junior class, 29 percent; and in the sophomore class, 33 percent. These are all pretty high percentages, considering that the goal is to challenges students.
Looking only at the fact that nearly one-third of the classes are earning such high GPAs, it would seem that, if anything, they are not being challenged enough. Kaneland should focus on raising standards, not lowering them.
A particular problem that many parents have about the grading scale is college admissions. However, colleges take many other things into account, such as standardized test scores, class rank, extracurricular activities, community activities and essays. Even if they only took letter grades into consideration, many college admissions offices recalculate the GPA in order to compensate for the many scales around the U.S.
Many people believe the grading scale should be changed back to a 10-point scale, and I don’t necessarily disagree with them. However, I don’t agree with those who think that the change is a simple issue. The answer is only easy when your mind is already made up. What I do agree with is the fact that the Kaneland School Board will direct the administration to conduct a study this year to evaluate the possible switch to a 10-point grading scale.
I hope that the study will provide insight into which option is the better one, and for what reason, to finally put this subject to rest.