A B C D E F, That's Old School

No one at Borel Middle School in San Mateo will get straight A's this year.The kids aren't getting dumber.It's just that the days of letter grades are numbered.

Grades, you know what they are. A B C D F. That's old school.

Now, it's 1-2-3-4. It is a new grading system.

it reflects the standards that the students are learning in each grade. The San Mateo-Foster City School District the latest to change; Santa Clara and Newark among those in the Bay Area.

It's all about getting on track to pass the California high school exam, which they'll take in a few years.

A 3 means the student gets the standards of their grades, and that's what most kids should get. It is a pure mark.

It is looking solely at that mastery. It's very vague. Nearly 600 parents signed a petition to change things back. Many have higher achieving kids, and they don't think good enough is good enough.

Many of their kids get A's. But 4's are expected to be harder to come by, because it's not yet clear how you measure being better than what's standard.

Some parents think it's demotivating to kids who are really driven to excel, because now they just have to get good enough grades, to achieve the 3.

The district wants to close an achievement gap between the top and bottom. Parents say this isn't the way.

We need to keep our high achievers pushing, and we need to bring our low achievers up in the classroom not because we make their grade look different.

The district says over time, things will make more sense.

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