NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — High-achieving students in New York City are concerned the Department of Education’s new grading policy will prevent them from getting accepted into the schools of their choice.
Now, hundreds have signed a petition to save their grades, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Monday.
Seventh grader Jude Listanowsky is devastated the New York City Department of Education changed its grading policy, essentially erasing his first and second quarter grades.
Jude launched a change.org petition to bring the old system back.
“Doing these changes mid-year sends a bad message that our hard work this year was not rewarded, and that makes us feel lost and confused,” Jude told CBS2 on Monday.
And he’s not the only one annoyed.
“I worked really hard the first two marking periods and now I have nothing to show for it,” seventh grader Alexa Seltzer said.
“We can’t pull the rug out from under them at a time when they’re already suffering and facing so many unknowns,” parent Ashlee Conner added.
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In an effort to lessen the stress on students adjusting to remote learning, the DOE transitioned to a binary non-number system for K through 8 for students’ final grades. Students will be assessed as “meets standards” or “needs improvement.”
Middle schools and high schools normally use final grades, state tests, and attendance when considering a students admission. With state tests already cancelled and attendance waived, many high-achieving fourth and seventh graders are worried schools will no longer recognize their hard work in the classroom.
“It’s kind of like we did the work for nothing,” seventh grader Ines Tavares said.
“It’s not fair for nobody. For example, if a child is getting a 90 and another is getting a 60, how are they going to be the same?” parent Iris Tavares said.
“Seventh grade is so important. These grades could’ve helped me a long way to get into the high school that I want to get into,” seventh grader Alex Panas added.
More than 92% of parents surveyed by PLACE NYC — Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education — are “extremely” or “very concerned” about how the new grading policy will affect school admissions. They’re urging the DOE to hold public forums.
The DOE said it’s using community feedback to develop new admissions policies. The city is allowing high school students to choose to be evaluated by the old or new grading policy. PLACE NYC co-president Yiatin Chu said K-8 students should be given the same flexibility.
“There are kids that for reasons beyond their control aren’t really able to do much more than a 70 or a 65,” Chu said. “I think to allow each student to opt for something that feels right, makes it right for them, is a great thing to do at this time.”
The DOE it will notify families of the new admissions policy well ahead of next year’s admissions cycle.