As a district, we’ve learned much over the past year. We also have been reminded of our commitment to standards-based learning and equity. In November, we suspended the use of the Failing (F) mark and instead gave Incomplete (I) and/or No Grade (N) marks. The use of the (I) and (N) marks offer a much better job of accurately communicating the evidence of a student’s demonstrated knowledge of the course standards. Neither the (I) or the (N) mark award credit, but their use reinforced the message that we have not yet seen enough evidence to award credit and “we will continue to work with you.”
We are collecting feedback from you about your desire to continue to use the Incomplete (I) and No Grade (N) marks instead of the Failing (F) mark for the foreseeable future. Students will still receive (A-D) marks thus moving away from the (F) mark will not negatively impact post secondary opportunities.
Rationale for moving away from the Failing (F) mark:
- We believe that letter grades should accurately communicate the evidence of a student's proficiency on the content.
- The use of a Failing (F) mark is tied to a student’s behavior. We have behavior learning targets which communicate student behavior.
- The use of the Incomplete (I) and No Grade (N) marks is more equitable.
- The use of the Incomplete (I) and No Grade (N) marks is not credit-bearing.
- More students will graduate and be able to pursue post-secondary opportunities.
Impacts of (F) mark:
An (F) mark equates to the minimum GPA value of zero which lowers a student’s GPA and may present a barrier to their ability to pursue future education. Many higher education and career opportunities are contingent upon students meeting minimum GPA requirements. The average GPA of students entering Oregon State University and University of Oregon is just above a 3.5. While Portland Community College doesn’t have a minimum GPA requirement, if a student is seeking financial aid to pursue higher education, a low GPA could make the student ineligible for financial aid. Oregon Promise, a state grant which provides tuition assistance for Oregon students, requires that students have a 2.5 or better GPA. For any (F) mark transcripted, it would require a minimum of one (A) and one (B) to boost the GPA to a 2.5.
What are your thoughts? Please complete this survey by May 21. The survey is anonymous; no emails will be collected.
Grade Mark Survey for students and parents/guardians of students in grades 6-12: