Grade Scale changes spark Debate

New grade scale has negative effect- Dave Talarico, Sports Editor

The new grading scale that West has started to use this year is allowing students get undeserved grades and allowing students to graduate that do not deserve it. As the new school year began, students had new classes and a new ten point grading scale with every grade now getting ten points; one hundred through ninety is now an A, eighty-nine to eighty is now a B, etc. The students are looking at it as if the change is good, but they are thinking about the present and not looking at the bigger picture to realize that is a bad change.

When I heard about the new grading scale my main concern was who was supposed to benefit more? Yes the students who are on the border line of passing and failing will benefit a lot more than those who were passing with the A’s and B’s before the change. But it also benefits the school. West will see an increase in its overall grade percentage. West will also see an increase in the number of students who graduate because they are giving grades out to students who have not tried to pass their classes. It can benefit both West and the students in athletics. If West can get those star players who do not usually make eligibility out on the field, they will be able to win more games and compete for state titles in the future.

There have been students that have been on the border week in and week out during sports that are ineligible. There also students every year who cannot graduate because they are on the border of passing and failing key classes such as English, Math and Science. With this new grading scale these students might be able to graduate with what would have been an F last year and now have a D or possibly even a low C. The new grading scale is giving out undeserved grades and letting students graduate who do not deserve it. West is giving out undeserved grades so that our school will have a better graduating percentage. Grades are now getting easier to earn.  Amber Weich, sophomore at Joliet West, said, “It is too easy. Yeah more kids are getting A’s and B’s but they really shouldn’t be. There are people passing now that shouldn’t be passed.”

When the students of Joliet West High School go to apply for colleges in the future, their grades will look better than those of someone with a grading scale similar to our old one but could be looked at as if you didn’t earn that grade. Colleges will look at the two transcripts and accept the person with the lower or similar grades first because they have been working harder to get their grades up and keep them at that level that they are at compared to students from West. West can get grades up to the A that students want in the first quarter and then sit back and relax for the rest of the semester and still pass class with doing less work.

Although this year’s junior class at Joliet West will only have the grading scale for two years, colleges might look at our grades and think that West’s grading scale was always the 10 point grading scale that West has now. “The only bad thing about it is that I’m worried that colleges might think that it was always a 10 Point scale” an anonymous student at Joliet West said. Some juniors thought that it would actually make their transcripts look worse when they go to apply for colleges. West is helping students graduate because they are using the new ten point grading scale which makes the school look worse overall.

New grade scale helps ALL students – Sarah Volante, Copy Editor

The students that were enrolled in summer school this past summer were the first to utilize the benefits of Joliet Township’s new 10-point grading scale. Not all students are pleased with the change but it really helps all students of JTHS. We are finally now at the same level as other schools across the country and all students will all be able to receive higher grades and GPAs.

I recently discussed the topic with the president of the JTHS school board, Mr. Chet June. He mentioned that the suggestion was brought to the board’s attention by a Troy board member. Mr. June also explained to me that because of our old grading system, Joliet students were actually at a disadvantage.  According to him, JTHS wanted to implement the new grading scale because “students were losing out to other schools across the country” since many other schools have higher GPAs than we do. Their higher GPAs are not necessarily due to better student performance, but could be due to the fact that they were already on the 10-point scale and we weren’t. Students here were possibly already earning the same percentages as those at other schools across the country, be were not able to receive the same grades. 

The change in the grading scale does not negatively affect our grades. In regards to our GPAs, the only change is that it has been made easier to attain higher averages. Other schools have already been going by this system but were receiving higher GPAs while putting in the same amount of effort as us at West. It doesn’t matter to college admission offices if your A was a 99% or a 90%, but only that it was considered an A, and so on with the other grades. Most Joliet Township students are now getting a boost in their grades, which is nothing but helpful.

Since Joliet Township is now on the 10-point grading scale, it will be easier for students to succeed. It will be interesting to see the difference in our graduation rate after implementing this change. While the graduation rate should increase, administration expects the amount of students enrolled in summer school to be decreasing this year. While A/B students only see a change of three percentage points in the grading scale, D/F students see 10%. This will make it easier for students to receive passing grades and consequently graduate.

Some JTHS students are upset that the new change to the grading scale makes it too easy for other students to pass and receive higher grades. They feel that good grades are simply being handed out to everybody so people will now be passing when they shouldn’t be. I don’t understand how that is a problem in any way. They’re getting an extra boost that they need and honestly, it really doesn’t matter what grades other students are getting. The only grades that we need to worry about as students is our own. All we have to do is focus on being the best we can be. Also, as previously mentioned, other schools across the country have been on the 10-point grading scale. When taking the other schools that have already been using this system into consideration, these “new” grades are the ones that these people deserve. Joliet Township D students were already working harder to earn their Ds than those at other schools. We are finally at the level that we should be at. Obviously it’s now easier to pass and receive higher grades, as I previously mentioned, but if you focus on only your own grades then you can see how the new system is only beneficial to all involved.

Our students are much better off with the change in our grading scale. The 10-point grading scale will increase the graduation rate of Joliet Township and help students to be able to pass their classes. In addition, our GPAs will now be bumped up to where they should be when compared to other schools. Now that JTHS has adopted the same grading scale as schools across the nation, the Steelmen and Tigers are no longer at a disadvantage. Now that the playing field has been leveled, we will be able to receive the better grades we rightfully deserve.