What’s your school district planning? Do you know?
PPS currently runs on a traditional grading system.
“Maybe there some like linguistic inaccuracies maybe there are some home life hard ships that make it difficult to complete assignments on time or even maybe there are some errors,” says Kimberlee Armstrong with PPS. “It’s making sure that students have an opportunity to demonstrate what they know and what they’re able to do, not based on their behavior towards work completion.”
PPS says the idea came from teachers working in the pandemic. They had to adjust their grading to accommodate online curriculum.
“It really then moved the conversation on how individual teachers were grading and the importance of being consistent across Portland.”
PPS says in the past, teachers have given zeros if schoolwork was late or inaccurate, but the new system would change that.
Rachelle Chase-Miller, a mother of two, says getting rid of zeros is a good thing and can help mitigate barriers.
“When you put a zero on a kid, you’re putting a value judgment on them, right? They are feeling the impact of that zero,” says Chase-Miller. “I feel like it’s really important to meet kids where they’re at, and they’re not all at the same place. Kids have different challenges, they have different circumstances at home, they have different learning styles and abilities.”
PPS says they’ve already put it to the test in classrooms last year. According to feedback they received, student motivation was higher and students were engaged.
PPS wants to make it clear that the new system would not endorse cheating. They say cheating, plagiarism, and sabotage fall under the category of academic dishonesty or academic misconduct and there will continue to be disciplinary action.
If the equitable grading system gets approved, schools will implement the change in 2025.