Prince William County Schools: Unfair Grading Policy

Prince William County Schools: Unfair Grading Policy

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Arsema Techane started this petition to Dr. Steve Waltz

This petition was made by PWCS students Arsema Techane, Michelle Giulajan, and Makda Asgedom regarding the concerning and new 2019-2020 academic year grading policy. 

First off, we hope that everyone is adjusting and doing better during this troubling time. Due to this unfortunate pandemic, educational systems across the globe have been substantially affected. While this is a stressful situation for the leaders of our communities, it is up to them to make the best decisions for us. On April 1st, 2020, the superintendent of Prince William County Schools released a statement on Twitter deciding that only quarters 1, 2, and 3 of the 2019-2020 academic school year would be added and divided by three to create a final year grade. As students, this leaves us worrying for good reason. We understand that sudden decisions must be made to adjust to the current situation, but leaving students with these circumstances is unfair. This is because many students were relying on their second-semester grade or their 4th quarter grade specifically to improve their overall year grade. Not all students are granted the same heavy-grade raising opportunities as others. Some students who deserve A’s will be left with B’s, B’s left with C’s, and so on. 


The present situation for PWCS students must be re-evaluated. Loudoun County Public Schools have prepared 3 fair solutions for their students to choose from by Loudoun County’s Community of Education Plan released on March 27th. The first solution would be what we already have in place—a final year grade of an average of the first 3 quarters. That option is what we are trying to avoid. The second solution is an average of students’ semester 1 grade and quarter 3 grade. We consider this option to be the best option for all students because it significantly helps students' grades. The third and last solution is a student receives a Semester 1 grade and a Pass/Fail grade for quarter 3. For this option, the GPA is then calculated using the students’ semester 1 grades. If you want to see the significant difference between these three options and see what would be better for your grade, you can test it out with your own grades. Overall, we are pushing highly for the second solution. 


While Prince William County is clearly a county that cares deeply about the education and welfare of its students, we hope that they will consider adopting Loudoun County’s plan. Prince William just released their solution yesterday, and we still have time to make a change for the better of all the students of this county. With all due respect and acknowledgment of the hard work that was needed in this School Board meeting, Prince William County should consider adopting Loudoun County’s Final Grade Plan, which can be found in their Continuity of Education Plan attached below. Thank you very much for taking the time to read the concerns of some PWCS students. Stay safe and take care!

https://www.lcps.org/cms/lib/VA01000195/Centricity/domain/61/2019-2020_files/Continuity_of_Education_Plan_033120_rev.pdf

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