The New OHS Grading Scale Explained

Ajalon Peterson
News Editor

A new year has brought new changes to OHS, one of which affects a system that has been imposed for years: the grading scale. Previously, departments varied in what they considered an “A” (science set it at a 92, English at a 95, math at a 93, etc.). This year, though, the scale is the same department wide\; an “A” is a 93 in every class.

The change has brought questions, such as whether or not it is easier to get an A in English this year in comparison to the previous years, or why the previous system existed in the first place.

As for why OHS ever deviated from a standard grading scale, the answer seems to be unknown. The notion of change, though, was brought up by new principal Dr. Amy Steiner. “I was actually surprised to find out that they [the department grading scales] weren’t the same, so that was what started the conversation. I then met with all of the department heads, and got feedback on what scale they used” said principal Steiner.

According to teachers, though, this isn’t the case at all. The general consensus is that teachers know what “A” level work is, and they modify certain aspects of their grading to reflect it. Jarrett Lundquist, an English teacher at OHS, agrees with this.

“When I was in school, I had a history teacher who thought 80% was an ‘A’, but he made his class hard enough so that students who got 80% were deserving of that grade.”. In other words, just because the percentage was lower doesn’t mean everyone got an ‘A’” Lundquist said. One’s grade is less about what percentage you get in the class, and more about what each teacher considers an “A.”

Most of the teachers consider the switch as an improvement. “I think it’s an improvement because the consistency is important for students. They know what they’re getting into and it doesn’t matter what teacher they have\; it’s all the same” principal Steiner said. “I think it’s an improvement\; it eliminates a lot of confusion” Ms. Fiora said.

Lundquist advises students that “If you have consistently done ‘A’ level work, you will probably continue to do ‘A’ level work. Likewise, if you have consistently done ‘A-’ level work, you will probably continue to do ‘A-’ level work. This new grading scale shouldn’t change that, and it’s mort about eliminating confusion than anything.

All in all, it seems like the goal in this transition was to make lines of communication clear between all departments and students. Teachers will continue to teach and assess in a way that will determine “A” level work, and the difficulty or ease of various courses shouldn’t change.