Eliminate Damaging Math and Science Grading Policy at LaGuardia High School

Eliminate Damaging Math and Science Grading Policy at LaGuardia High School

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Why this petition matters

Started by Concerned Parents

In October LaGuardia High School Administration announced a new Math and Science grading policy as follows: 

  • 70% Assessments (may include, but is not limited to, presentations, research projects, papers, podcasts, justifications, debates, tests, and quizzes.)
  • 30% Practice (may include, but is not limited to, homework, in class assignments, notebook checks, Delta math assignments, Gizmos assignments, science labs etc.)

This is a big departure from LaGuardia's long standing Math and Science grading policy - 50% Assessments + 50% Homework, Classwork and Class Participation. 

The result of this new policy is an overall decline in student's mental health due to increased stress and performance anxiety for all students, even previously successful students. 

Our petition outlines the policy and implementation flaws that are severely damaging our students.

Please read and consider signing in hopes that the administration restores the successful 50/50 grading policy that supported all students.


Dear Principal Vasconcelos:

The recent implementation of the 70/30 grading policy for math and science for the 2022-2023 academic year at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts has had a detrimental impact on students and families.

We urgently request that the 70/30 policy be reversed and the longstanding 50/50 grading policy be reinstated before first semester grades are finalized in January of 2023.

Among the issues students and parents have shared:

  • Increased test anxiety due to high-stakes testing. Students who never had test anxiety previously now have it and the students with existing text anxiety have had it exacerbated. Panic prevents knowledge from being adequately reflected in tests, making these heavily weighted tests an increasingly poor measure of mastery.
  • Amplified mental health strain. The pandemic has already excessively strained the mental health of kids. Now is not the time to introduce a sudden change, let alone one that causes so many issues and confusion. 
  • Policy deepens inequity through the cost burden of tutors and uneven impact on grades. Students who never needed tutors before suddenly need them. Many families cannot afford them, which only deepens grade inequity, which this policy was meant to improve. Students with assessment grades in the 60s, 70s and 80s are penalized more than those with 90+.
  • College applications at risk. Juniors and Seniors are left struggling to find their footing at the most crucial time in their academic careers. There are reports of scholarships being lost and fears of acceptances being rescinded when their first semester grades are sent. 
  • Conflicts with NYC DOE educational policy. “School-based grading policies should be developed in consultation with the school community and grounded in the needs of their students.” This policy was implemented without first being vetted among all stakeholders, including the families.  (SOURCE:  See page 75 of the DOE HS Academic Policy  
  • Inconsistent implementation among teachers. Per Ms. Collins’ email of October 20, the 70% is meant to include a wide range of assessments yet has only consisted of tests/quizzes in many classrooms. Retake policies are also highly differentiated across teachers, and some reportedly refuse to even let the student know which test grade was higher before making them choose which one to include in the course grade. Additionally, “retakes” are not retakes in many cases and are instead cumulative multi-unit tests presented as retakes.
  • Negatively affecting students at every level. Many students --including those who have historically been strong in math and science-- are struggling to pass math and science. Students who have struggled or have accommodations have had no support to accommodate this policy change. 

We urgently request the longstanding 50/50 grading policy be reinstated before first semester grades are finalized in January of 2023.

Thank you.




691 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!