Help PPACS eliminate standards-based grading

Help PPACS eliminate standards-based grading

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Ava Miles started this petition to PPACS and

Hello, my name is Ava Miles and I am currently a 7th grade student at Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. I am pushing out this petition to try and make a change regarding my schools grading system. This all started when me and a couple of my fellow classmates and teachers started talking about the grading system. I soon found out that most of the kids in my class had the same opinion that I did. What opinion you ask? That we don’t like standards-based grading AT ALL! It also doesn’t help that one of their biggest arguments is that it makes us feel better. That statement isn’t even remotely true! I don’t know about you but if I get a “1” I will still feel just as bad as if I got a 30% or maybe even a 1%. Especially knowing that a one means emerging the standard. By that point just say that we failed already! I can’t even begin to imagine what the younger kids in second grade and lower are going to do at a college interview… How are you going to walk into the interview of a lifetime and explain to them that you’re getting all threes and fours in your classes?!?! But they’ll be confused as to why they didn’t get into the college of their dreams because the kids are just going to think this grading system its normal. NO. These are just a few of the reasons I wanted to take a stand against this grading system so if you agree with me then take a few minutes to sign and help me make a change! Thank you so much for at least taking the time to read this I know that it was long but I have so much more to say! 

 

Written by: Ava Miles

June 7, 2021

Hi, my daughter attends the performing arts charter school with your son's, daughters, grandkids, siblings or family. Approximately, 4 years ago the school district changed their grading system to "standards based grading" which grades them on a 1-4 (emerging the standard through exceeding the standard). They stopped using percentages and letter grades completely, with the argument that grading this way is better for their self esteem. This grading system is acceptable for grade school children, I remember in grade school getting S's and U's. However, in Jr. and Sr. High this is no longer acceptable. What happened to honors and distinguished honors? I understand that the children that do not receive these achievements might feel left out, but it gives them something to strive for! Not only is this way of grading confusing for the children who have been graded on a regular A-F scale, but it is even more confusing for the parents, who don't see anything but these numbers. Where is my child performing? How close was she to a 4? Worst of all when my child goes to further her education and receives a percentage that might not be that great, what's going to happen to her self esteem then? Are we preparing our children for the real world? The real world isn't going to work to reteach our children until they "master" a skill. Especially, since not everyone is assessed this way. It makes for an unfair playing field and our kids have the disadvantage. A study conducted in 2018 (Townlsey & Varga, 2018) took high school children from two schools that ranked equally in all areas (socioeconomic status, race, gender, etc.), yet used two different grading systems, traditional (A-F) and standards based (1-4) grading. Their data shows that the children who were graded using the traditional grading system scored significantly better on their ACT's then children graded on the standards based format. When this issue is brought the attention of the administration we are always given the same answer: "there are a lot of children on the waiting list, you can always take your child out of our school.". Aside from the grading issue I do not want my child to go to a different school. I feel like the teachers and staff at PPACS do a stellar job of teaching our children. I just believe that they are being disadvantaged from standards based grading. I want my child to have a fair chance, don't you?

Written by: Carole Risoli

June 7, 2021

Townlsey, M & Varga, M (2018). Getting High School Students Ready for College: A Quantitative Study of Standards-Based Grading Practices. Journal of Research in Education, Vol. 28 (1) p. 92-112

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