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September 17, 2013

Centennial Weighs in on SBG

by Kelly Braghini

This article was written with Samantha Hayek.

SBG, Standards Based Grading, is a new grading system for classes at Centennial. It is based on a 1 to 4 grading scale, instead of a typical 0 to 100% grading scale. Two years ago (in 2011-2012 school year), Centennial administration did a test-run in the Freshmen Biology classes. During the last school year (2012-2013), SBG was implemented in nearly all of the Freshmen and Sophomore classes, including P.E., Foreign Languages, and the Fine Arts Department.

In a survey with the Centennial teachers, we found out that teachers were not unanimous on their views for SBG.

  • Four out of seven teachers liked SBG.
  • Seven out of eight teachers believe it helps students in high school.
    “If a student wants to do good, it is helpful” – Mrs. Sudlow
  • Six out of ten think that it will benefit students for college.
  • Out of seven teachers, three have noticed improved test scores, four have found no change, and zero teachers observed a decline.
    Teachers noticed it helped formerly weak students do better, but students that were already strong, had no change.

One teacher remarked on how SBG had fewer F’s, but also not as many A’s. After we talked with teachers, we talked to their students.

  • 66 students said they liked it.
  • 145 students said they did not like it.
  • A number of students did not know what SBG was.

SBG is still new and because of that students and teachers may not have enough information about SBG to form a solid argument on whether SBG is good or bad. Opinions form and change as time goes on, at the same time scores are being recorded to form a trend to see whether SBG helps or hinders a student. “[SBG] has good intentions, but it is hard in practice,” said Kyle Jackson, a teacher at Centennial. Everyone is learning, and we will just have to wait and see.

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