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Some educators feel numbers should replace letter grades
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2012 16:48 PM

As schools across the country implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), there are those who feel that these institutions could benefit from replacing letter grades with a standards-based system.

This is already the case in some elementary schools, and the trend now affects older students as well since Hawkins Middle School and Mountain View Middle School in Washington have made this transition, the Kitsap Sun reported. In both schools, the traditional As, Bs and Cs have been replaced with numbers. This allows teachers to rate students’ performance by their mastery of specific concepts, rather than how hard they worked.

"In the standards-based system, you are really crystal clear about what you want a student to learn in your classroom," said Shawn Woodward, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning at Washington’s North Kitsap School District, where the number grading system is in use at the elementary level.

Ken O’Conner, an educator and grading consultant, told the news outlet that the adoption of the CCSS may prompt more students to embrace standards-based grading.

Meanwhile, in Waukee, Iowa, educators feel that the standards-based grading system they use has provided them with more information on their students than ever before, the Des Moines Register reported.