Opinion: The New Morris School District Grading Policy

Opinion: The New Morris School District Grading Policy

Change happens, and it is hard for many. In the Morris School District, many students and teachers’ lives in middle school and high school have been changed, some for the better, some for the worse, and some just don’t really know how to feel yet. Such a sudden change sparked many different opinions. The new grading policy includes a new system with formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments include homework or classwork assignments and are worth 10% of your grade. A summative assessment is any type of test or quiz and is worth 90% of your grade. With this information, we walked around the school and interviewed as many teachers as we could find. 

The first teacher we interviewed said that she is adjusting to the new system. She believes that it is a good theory but she doesn’t agree with some things. She agrees with the formative and summative categories, but she doesn’t agree with the weighting. So far, she believes that it is going well.

Another teacher said that the most important thing she had to say is that, “we should have gone through with the change next year.” Her reasoning was because it is the year after COVID and kids are still adjusting and making up for lost COVID learning time. She says the teachers should have been given a one-year notice so that they can get used to and have time to prepare new rubrics and the new ways to grade.

Our last teacher had to say mainly that the weighting of 90% summative and 10% formative could have been laid out differently. She says some of the upsides to the new systems are the retakes and the revision which give students a chance to redeem their grades, but there may not be as many tests to bring their grade back up because the classwork and homework is so lightly weighted.

Overall, the teachers we interviewed seemed not to have many problems with the policy, but one recurring issue that they all believed needed to be addressed was the weighting of the formative and summative categories. They felt that the few tests that they give impact the grade too much. In past years, they felt like the homework and classwork weighed your grade out, but now the grade is too reliant on tests and one test could ruin your grade. Most of the teachers felt like it was too early to make a verdict, but so far, so good. There is more to come in the next year of this new grading system.