New grading system for Montgomery County high schools following elimination of final exams

The new system will weigh assessments given to students in most classes as 10 percent of a student’s grade for that marking period or quarter.The final semester grade will be calculated by averaging the two marking period grades using a point scal

- A new grading system for Montgomery County high schools will begin in the fall. The system uses a point scale system that calculates the grade by averaging marking period grades.

Opponents argue students need an experience similar to what they will deal with in college. But some say the new system could help students reach better grade point averages.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Derek Turner said, "The current model we were using, which was a downward trend system where it would average down, was not really working for our students and our community."

Leslie Hinkson, an assistant professor of sociology at Georgetown University and a parent of a student attending Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, said she thinks the new grading system is an opportunity for students.

“I think it’s an opportunity for a more authentic assessment, and I think if teachers take advantage of this, this might actually be a way to better prepare students for college,” Hinkson said.

When FOX 5 asked her about the risk of grade inflation or the possibility of unfair advantages during the admissions process, Hinkson said she thinks admissions committees are more savvy than people give them credit for.

Last fall, the Montgomery County Board of Education eliminated two-hour semester final exams and replaced them with quarterly marking period assessments in certain high school courses.

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