Parents voice concern over new Jackson grading system

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Three parents of elementary school students attended Tuesday night's Jackson School Board meeting to express their concern about the district's new grading system used in elementary schools. The district switched from the traditional A-through-F letter grade system to a standards-based reporting system that awards a number based on a student mastering specified skills.

Dr. Rita Fisher, assistant superintendent, said the district did a lot of research before implementing the new program and that she thinks the system will benefit students by providing parents and educators with meaningful feedback.

"It allows us to meet those children where they are. We can move them along the path and help them take the next level," she said.

Joy Watson has three children at South Elementary and said because there is never an F that students may have a false sense of invulnerability.

"If you teach them they can't fail, you set them up for failure in the future," she said. Watson is a former teacher and recognizes there are positives in the system but does not understand the merits of the switch.

Board member Dan Stover urged parents to be patient with the transition.

"Give it time. I think it will work. It is not set in stone. If it doesn't work, we'll make a change," he said.

Other business

Board members also heard a presentation during the meeting from the five district teachers who attended a NASA program at Johnson Space Center in Houston in July. The group performed two experiments in zero gravity.

cbartholomew@semissourian.com

243-8600

Pertinent Address

614 E. Adams St., Jackson, MO

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