Fitch High School is piloting a new grading system that would change the intervals between an A and an F to a 0-5 scale instead of the traditional system of 0-100.
The system, called “equal interval grading”, is intended to make grades more fair by giving each letter grade 10 points, and is being and is being piloted by about 21 teachers now.
A note was sent home to parents last month outlining the new grading system and a conversion chart to explain how it works. With class sizes of about 20 students each, the new system affects about 400 students at Fitch.
It could be implimented school-wide as early as next year. Fitch Assistant Principal Mike Emery said the goal is to make the grading system fair.
“If an A is 10 points and a B is 10 points, then an F should be 10 points, not 60 points,” he said. “It’s something that’s been out of whack forever. We suffered from it when we were kids. It’s never been right, and we’re trying to make it equitable.”
Here’s the issue: Under the old system, if you get a low A on a test, say a 92, and then a low F, say a 12, the average, considering it logically, should be a low C. But mathematically, the average is a 52, or an F.
Under the 0-5 grading model, 5 would be an A, or 100. Any grade of 1 or below would be an F. Intervals would work this way: 4.9 would be a 99, 4.8 would be a 98, 4.7 would be a 97, etc.
Now take the student in the example above under the new grading system: The student who gets a 92 (or 4.2) on a test, and a 12 (or .3), would have an average of 2.25, or a low C.
Emery and Fitch High School Principal Joseph Arcarese outlined the new grading system to the Groton Board of Education during a recent meeting.
Other Connecticut high schools have already moved to equal interval grading, including Norwich Free Academy, Emery said.
The new system would not affect students who score above a 60. But it would affect students who earn three Bs or three Cs, for example, and then forget to do something or fail to do it and get a zero. They would still be penalized, but more in proportion to the extent of the failure.