The grading system of the future? I sure hope not


Opinion by Jillian McGuire

Evidence-Based Reporting, better known by the students at Mount Vernon as EBR, is an OK idea in theory but doesn’t work for Mount Vernon, or any school in general. This new type of grading is supposed to reflect improvement over time and give students more time to understand the concept. Great idea right? In reality, this new type of grading being implemented is confusing and has many flaws.

The cons outweigh the pros. A huge problem with the system is the lack of clear communication between teachers and students. Being unaware of your grade is an issue, as students can no longer see their grades with a glance at PowerSchool. Students see 4s, meaning they excel and are above target level 4. Below that they see proficient or at grade level 3. A 2 means emerging, and able achieve target with a little bit of help from a teacher. A 1 means you have troubles achieving the skill without assistance from the teacher. You won’t know what your grade is until it is too late to make changes.                

I do not see advantages in a full switch to this new grading, because not only are students stressing about how the system will affect them, but teachers are stressed about implementing this system into their classrooms. The transition to a standards-based grading system requires teachers dedicating large amounts of time that most don’t have to extra planning and training.

The last issue with evidence-based grading is the concern that standards-based grading might put high school students at a disadvantage when applying to college. Many MV students are planning on applying to a four-year school, and the switch strongly hurt those students. The  admission offices will only evaluate students based on their grade point average, and colleges may not understand this new grading. Therefore they will not accept students based on improvement.