In search of fairness, schools contemplate grading changes

A Virginia Beach Schools committee tasked with reviewing grading policies across the district will seek feedback from parents and others at a forum in two weeks.

The Nov. 5 event, hosted by the school division’s Fair and Equitable Grading Practices Committee, is the next step in a process that could lead to changes in homework guidelines, approaches to late work and the use of zeros in grading as the district works to standardize grading policies across its middle and high schools.

The grading practices committee is made up of teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members. Its research was prompted in part by questions from teachers, parents and students about variations in grading practices from school to school in Virginia Beach.

Superintendent Aaron Spence said in a release that the committee has been gathering insight on how to best assess and grade students across the school district. It plans to provide the School Board with its findings this spring, allowing for policy changes to be made by next school year.

The community forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Princess Anne Middle School, 2323 Holland Rd. It will feature a presentation on grading practices and assessments by Thomas Guskey, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Kentucky and a nationally-recognized grading expert.

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