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My daughter just started Middle School this year and this is the first time that letter grades are being assigned. I was surprised to see the grading scale, which assigns letter grades at higher percentages than I was accustomed to seeing. I had thought that the 90's, 80's, 70's ranges were pretty standard. Is this a new trend, that I am just not aware of, or is this unusual?

Then philosophically, I am looking for a perspective on the advantage to such a scale, since I can't seem to find it.

My daughter just scored a 77% on a test, thereby receiving a D grade. D's are not considered passing, and can limit eligibility for various activities. This test score brings her class average to 88% which is a B- at her school. We all know and realize that the focus is on growth and learning, but I struggle with how to help her overcome her feelings of defeat by seeing the letter grades. When I was in school that test would have been a solid C and the class grade a B+.

I feel like this scale makes it harder for a student to have a positive sense of self-accomplishment. Am I naive in thinking this does not push students to try harder, but instead makes them throw in the towel that much faster?

So, help me understand if this is becoming standard practice and what the positive aspects of this shift may be.



This is not standard practice; increasingly middle schools are moving away from grading
scales based on percentages to a limited number of levels related to proficiency - Excels,
Proficient, Approaching Proficiency, Well Below/Not Yet. With your daughter please focus on
her learning/improvement not the grade(s).