In the fall of 2016, the Virginia Beach School Board authorized the Superintendent to implement site-based grading guidelines. Each Middle and High School in the district was instructed to come up with their own grading practices within a parameter of guidelines set by the Superintendent.
It is my opinion that these site-based practices create an unlevel field for our students and remove the importance of teaching accountability. For example, in many schools zeros are not given for work not completed and retakes have become the norm rather than the exception.
Since each school's grading practices are not easily accessible to the public, I requested all of the documents from the Superintendent's office and compiled my own summary of information for the public. My summary documents relating to zeros, late work, and retakes can be viewed below.
Middle School Examples: Several schools are giving minimum grades rather than zeros. Examples: Brandon MS giving min grades of 49, 45, 50. Larkspur MS, Lynnhaven MS, VB Middle School giving min grades of 50. I believe these minimum grades violate Virginia Beach School Board Regulation 6-72.1 which sets the grading scale of 0-100, not 50-100. Some schools are enforcing accountability by giving zeros for work not completed, such as Salem MS and Great Neck MS. It is my view that this places students on an unlevel playing field because they are being assessed with different grading scales within the same district.
High School Examples: Princess Anne HS states "a zero in the grade book will only be given if a student gets zero information correct on an assignment", Green Run HS does not give zeros and the lowest grade in most classes is 50.
Many schools state that every effort must be made by the teacher to get the student to turn in their work before issuing a zero: Old Donation School, Plaza MS, First Colonial HS, Kempsville HS, and more.
It is my view that there is inequality within the district with these grading practices and these practices put some students at a disadvantage when competing for high school academies or colleges. These practices also do not prepare students for college, workforce or the military. Students need to be taught the importance of deadlines, proper study habits, and that life will not always allow retakes.
Authorized by Victoria Manning for VB School board