Thursday, September 24, 2009


This is an announcement of interest to all my students and their parents.

It has always been my practice to employ an alternative grading scale for my classes at Bullard, rather than the so-called 'standard' scale of 90/80/70/60 etc.

The scale below is the scale that I have used for the last six years. It is the same scale that is on the course materials I distributed to students in the first week of school, and the one that I shared with parents on 'Back To School Knight'. Here it is:

A 86-100
B 71-85
C 56-70
D 51-55
F 50 or less

This is also the same scale I've used, every year, since the district implemented their Power School grading program. In the past, teacher grading was site-based, running off a platform installed into the instructor's school-site computer. I could use the program to create my own grading scale. Unfortunately, a decision has been made to inplement a new web-based version of Power School that requires me to get "permission" from a site administrator to use an alternative grading scale.

Well, that's not only nonsense, it's taking liberties with academic freedom. As an instructor, I have the right under the California Education Code (Article 3, provision 49066a) to use my judgement to determine a student's final grade, and if I choose to use an alternative grade scale* to make that determination, that is none of the district's business. So I will continue to grade things the way I always have, and I assure you that I will do whatever is necessary so that a student's final letter grade in my course will reflect my grade scale alone.

Now, I have petitioned the district to support my instructional practice, and so far I haven't gotten any assurances that this support is forthcoming. Until such time as my scale is implemented, the district's computers may display a different letter grade for some student's grades: an 'A' on my grade scale as a 'B', a 'B' as a 'C' and a 'C' as a below-average grade. That's unfortunate, but I am not going to let the district undermine the rights of teachers.

* = an alternative grade scale which is favorable to students, frankly!

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