New bill passed to remove the A-F grading system

New bill passed to remove the A-F grading system

Photo credit: Sasha Poradun

By Sasha Poradun, Staff Reporter

The Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill to abolish the state’s current A-F letter grading system for all public schools on March 21st by a 63-45 majority.

This now prompts the question of what the new system will look like. State lawmakers have proposed a new approach using the school index system, known as the total index system, which has a range from 0-100 and is based on students’ learning. 

When the bill was initially proposed in 2018, there was a disagreement surrounding whether it would have any effect on schools. With this in mind, freshman Peter Moe feels that the new bill may result in changes in grading procedures and concern for schools to be in the 100 range.

“I think it might drive up some teachers grading, but to a point, because the schools want to maintain the highest grades possible and every school will try to become an ‘A’ school,” Moe said. “Because of that, there will be a significant pressure for an average grade to be near the 100 range.”

While Moe believes schools might fear the new proposal, science teacher Christopher Trepanowski hopes that the bill will be a constructive change and anticipates that it will become a more efficient system for everyone.

“I am not super well versed in all of the intricacies of the new system, but anytime you are grading and assessing, there is always room for changing the way that you do things,” Trepanowski said. “I am hoping that with the new system it will be a more streamlined approach and more easily accessible.”

In addition to Trepanowski’s hopes of change for the better in the new system, Moe also hopes the new system will improve students’ stress related to grades, leading to better overall school performance.

“I think one important thing that the A-F grading system does is stagger students, [meaning] the difference in overall academic performance,” Moe said. “[That is] important for college admissions, due to the presence of standardized testing and needing for there to be more equitable systems. In addition to this, depending on the teachers, it can become a negative grading system based on grade inflation.”