Teachers share their views on the 80/20 grading policy

Ava Parker and Sophie Johnson

Various opinions have arisen about the 80/20 grading policy this year.

The new policy means that “mastery” assignments, like tests, essays and large projects, are worth 80% of students’ grades while practice assignments are worth only 20% of students’ grades.

During the first nine weeks of the school year, teachers and students have had to adjust to this change.

“Anytime a policy changes, especially within schools, it takes a while for all parties involved to get accustomed to it,” history teacher David Wheeler said, “We are not even a full quarter into the school year, so perhaps as time goes by it will become a little bit easier for everybody.”

Many teachers have had to change the dynamic of their class to adapt to the policy.

“I think that going with the total point value has traditionally been the easiest way to understand grades,” Wheeler said. Switching to the 80/20 rule has been a difference for Wheeler and the techniques he has used during his 17 years at North Central.

Both parents and students wonder how this new policy will reflect on grades at the end of the nine weeks.

“So far, I am not really noticing a tremendous transition in grades in comparison to where they were previously,” Wheeler said.

The new policy also prohibits teachers from offering extra credit to their students.

“In all of my classes, I was not a teacher that ever really gave much extra credit,” Wheeler said, “However, sometimes I believe there are outside opportunities to learn that you cannot necessarily make required, so in that case, it would be nice to have extra credit as an option.”

Regarding students’ motivation, “I have actually been pretty pleased in all my classes with both the level of completion and quality of the work,” Wheeler said, “Although, I have more recently noticed that some students do not always complete practice assignments if they do not believe it will have much of an impact their grade.”

As changes are made in the rules and policies of North Central, teachers, students, and parents are all working together to adapt and continue to enhance learning.