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stacyh270

What grading scale do you use for your HSer?

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Our nearest state university has just announced that starting in 2020, they will be awarding merit scholarships based on HS GPA's versus ACT/SAT scores.  DS(10th grade) will likely attend this university and I'm trying to figure out a consistent method of awarding grades, but the online courses, tutorial courses, and DE courses he has taken/will take all have different scales.  Besides being more rigorous courses than our local HS offers, I want him to at least be on a level playing field with his PS counterparts gradewise.

Our local school uses the A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60-69), F (<60) grading system for all courses but weights AP/DE courses (+1.0) and CP/Honors (+0.5).  Honestly, I really like this scale; however, some of DS's online courses and his tutorial courses this year use a scale of A (93-100), B (85-92), C (75-84), D (70-74), F (<70) scale.  By and large, his tutorial courses are MUCH more rigorous than the local HS so it puts him at a great disadvantage if I don't make an allowance for that on his transcript.  He is being tutored by the local PS Chemistry teacher because he is struggling in his tutorial chemistry class and she tells him that 1/2 of what he's studying is not covered in HER PS chemistry class 😳  (Those comments certainly don't help the HS'ing cause any because he perceives PS would be a lot easier...lol).

So I'm curious as to what scale you use in your homeschool.  Do you have different scales for different types of courses and do you weight the scores?

Thanks!

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Following as I have two 9th graders.  Our county uses the same grading scale your local school uses.  My boys are currently in a homeschool Honors Biology class in the next county over and that county uses the same scale as your DS's tutorial courses.  Their teacher uses the same grading scale as the county the class is in.  But...I will ultimately be the one giving them their grade so I guess I need to decide what grading scale I am going to use for transcripts as long as I have the record of grades and percentages from the provider.

Is this something I need to decide now :ph34r:?

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Is this something I need to decide now :ph34r:?

 
Our state requires us to provide grade reports at the same intervals at the local school district (for us, that's every 9 weeks).  I don't have to show them to anyone, per se, unless they are requested by the district but I don't want to get too far behind in my record keeping or have to redo 4 years of progress reports at one time. I also want to be somewhat consistent in my expectations for him as well going forward.    
Edited by stacyh270

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I spoke with a couple of colleges and both seemed fine with converting all grades to a common scale.  I use 90-100 is an A because it is easy and one of the providers used that scale anyway.  I don’t consider that changing the grade awarded as it sort of all balances out in the end.  I do plan on weighing H and AP as +1.0 because some of her honors classes would be AP level if there were an AP available (like Classical Greek) or simply self study for AP/CLEP without getting the approval from the college board.  I don’t think she should be hurt by the fact the college board chose not to offer an AP exam in the subject.  So far she has not taken any DE.  My daughter’s safe school awards scholarships based on weighted GPA and admissions says they will add in 0.05 for each AP class if GPA isn’t weighted, but I would rather not rely on them paying attention.  If you are clear about it, they can recalculate based on their desires.  They will have to do it with most physical school transcripts if they don’t like weighted grades.

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I plan on using  A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60-69), F (<60) grading system. If your kid gets 91% in a class that considers it a B, you could bump it up and explain your grading scale.

as far as rigor is concerned, I don’t try to normalize anything. My kid takes AoPS math and it’s a hundred times harder than a normal class, but he will get a grade he gets from them. We chose a tough class and he knew going in. 

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1 minute ago, Mom2mthj said:

I spoke with a couple of colleges and both seemed fine with converting all grades to a common scale.  I use 90-100 is an A because it is easy and one of the providers used that scale anyway.  I don’t consider that changing the grade awarded as it sort of all balances out in the end.  I do plan on weighing H and AP as +1.0 because some of her honors classes would be AP level if there were an AP available (like Classical Greek) or simply self study for AP/CLEP without getting the approval from the college board.  I don’t think she should be hurt by the fact the college board chose not to offer an AP exam in the subject.  So far she has not taken any DE.  My daughter’s safe school awards scholarships based on weighted GPA and admissions says they will add in 0.05 for each AP class if GPA isn’t weighted, but I would rather not rely on them paying attention.  If you are clear about it, they can recalculate based on their desires.  They will have to do it with most physical school transcripts if they don’t like weighted grades.

 

I need to call the state U to see how they handle/will handle the weighted GPA's but I feel fairly confident that they do accept them since most of the kids at the local PS end up there. 

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6 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

I plan on using  A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60-69), F (<60) grading system. If your kid gets 91% in a class that considers it a B, you could bump it up and explain your grading scale.

as far as rigor is concerned, I don’t try to normalize anything. My kid takes AoPS math and it’s a hundred times harder than a normal class, but he will get a grade he gets from them. We chose a tough class and he knew going in. 

 

Where would you explain it?  On the transcript?  I don't plan on including numeric scores on DS's transcript (only alpha scores) and list whether the class was AP, DE, or Honors/CP.  I'll probably include a weighted and non-weighted GPA as well.  Therefore, I'm not sure I feel it's necessary to have to "explain" anything regarding to grading scale 😉 

Edited by stacyh270

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1 minute ago, stacyh270 said:

 

Where would explain it?  On the transcript?  I don't plan on including numeric scores on DS's transcript (only alpha scores) and list whether the class was AP, DE, or Honors/CP.  I'll probably include a weighted and non-weighted GPA as well.  Therefore, I'm not sure I feel included to have to "explain" anything regarding to grading scale 😉 

 

School profile will have a section on grading.

you can also include on transcript your grading scale. 

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I don’t think you need to explain it.  You state your grading scale on the transcript and then follow it.  The divisions for grades are quite arbitrary in my opinion.  

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1 minute ago, Mom2mthj said:

I don’t think you need to explain it.  You state your grading scale on the transcript and then follow it.  The divisions for grades are quite arbitrary in my opinion.  

 

Exactly! That's why it concerns me about the university switching a GPA-based award system for scholarships. Plus now with the changes with the ACT, it all feels a bit arbitrary and absurd 😕 

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It has always been arbitrary. One of our local private schools told us if we wanted to go to state university system, we were better off in a local public high school because the latter gives As easily and graduates kids with much higher GPAs. That doesn’t deter parents from going to the private though since they know they are getting a better education for a number of reasons.

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32 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

It has always been arbitrary. One of our local private schools told us if we wanted to go to state university system, we were better off in a local public high school because the latter gives As easily and graduates kids with much higher GPAs. That doesn’t deter parents from going to the private though since they know they are getting a better education for a number of reasons.

 

Yes, I agree.  When I looked up how the local public HS grades (I graduated from there 20+years ago), I was a little perturbed that the grading scale had changed.  Back then, scores were not weighted for AP courses and I had ONE B my entire HS career (in an AP course) which got me a 3.96 GPA and I was ranked 4th with three students ahead of me that either took fewer AP courses or NONE at all.   They all got to give speeches at graduation and got all the local-based scholarships (based on GPA's) while I just sat there 😕 Oh well.....

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Along this same thread, what do you all think of parents awarding an "Honors" designation to certain courses provided by outside sources even if those sources don't necessarily call them "Honors"?  For example, DS is taking  World Lit, Algebra II and Chemistry at one tutorial location where ALL their classes could be considered Honors or AP because they are so rigorous.  They are certainly more rigorous than any local PS Honors course in the same subject (as evidenced by the local chemistry teacher's remarks to my son).    His other classes, taken at another location, definitely don't fall within the scope of "Honors" and even though one is called AP  History, I'm not sure I'll designate it as such unless he takes the AP exam and gets credit 😕 

 

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I am only going to do that (add honors designation) with AoPS. 

 

Just coming back to add that I have been musing this question now and I think the answer isn’t that simple. If I think about the local PS, the only kids going into “regular” courses as opposed to “honors” ones are struggling students. Of course, we aren’t public schools, so that honors designation makes little sense to me (I don’t have hundreds of students at home that I need to sort into appropriate levels) unless one is trying to make a comparison with PS, in terms of course rigor. So maybe it does make sense to give honors designation to more courses. I don’t know.

This is a great question though. 

Edited by Roadrunner
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Though technically I never awarded a grade different than what an online provider gave, I always felt free to treat the outside courses as simply  a tool for providing course content. In the end, I would decide what grade was awarded (and I might add to or disregard certain assignments.) Obviously with dual enrollment you will have to assign the same grade as the instructor, as schools will require a transcript from the institution.

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6 minutes ago, GoodGrief1 said:

Though technically I never awarded a grade different than what an online provider gave, I always felt free to treat the outside courses as simply  a tool for providing course content. 

 

I think that if you change the grade the provider gave you, you can’t attribute that grade to the provider, so it will have to be a home taught course.

Just a thought on your comment. Not directed at you. 

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Look at your local PS's course catalog. See what their offerings are. If they offer "Honors English 9" and you know that's what your hs'er would be in for 9th grade, call yours Honors in 9th grade. etc.

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23 minutes ago, GoodGrief1 said:

Though technically I never awarded a grade different than what an online provider gave, I always felt free to treat the outside courses as simply  a tool for providing course content. In the end, I would decide what grade was awarded (and I might add to or disregard certain assignments.) Obviously with dual enrollment you will have to assign the same grade as the instructor, as schools will require a transcript from the institution.

I am still new to all this as my oldest is a junior, but I do agree to feeling free to treat outside courses rather like group tutoring and a service to enhance the education of my children.  This is especially true to me when the provider does not even consider themselves a school.  The courses serve as a means for conflict avoidance (writing) or a risk free opportunity to explore a topic of interest that I can’t effectively provide (languages like Greek).  If a child gets a 92 in a class I don’t consider it changing a grade to make it reflect a common grade scale used on the transcript regardless of how the original course provider classified it.  If my child took an approved AP class I would not punish them by omitting that information on the transcript just because they didn’t take the exam or because they didn’t do well on the exam.  Students very frequently do not take the exam if they know they don’t want or need the college credit or know their target school won’t accept it anyway.

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I find it astounding that such a subjective and varying system of grade/GPA production could dictate so much money!  It is really just nuts.

Edited by lewelma
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3 minutes ago, lewelma said:

I find it astounding that such a subjective and varying system of grade/GPA production could dictate so much money!  It is really just nuts.

 

I agree 100%+!  On the other hand, I know some kids who have really great GPAs and who are good students who miss out on a lot of money simply because they aren't great test takers 😕 Or maybe they had horrible teachers in science like I did during HS that totally failed in preparing them for the ACT Science portion.  It's ALL nuts!

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It also obviously depends on the school. My ds got the top CM merit scholarship, and his grades were based on: 

Mastery in all homeschool classes

Blooms taxonomy of knowledge for all NZ national exams (not a percent correct system, but based on demonstrated level of thinking)

AoPS bar colors

In fact, out of 30ish classes, only the 2 he took at the local university were on a 0 to 100% scale, and the mean and median for both classes were 60%, which represented a B-. So not in any fashion based on the different number criteria you listed above

I did not weight any classes for ds's GPA because CM told me that they had their own weighting scale and would ignore mine.  I did put info on my transcript (like university-level, AP equivalent) so they could weight them how ever they wanted to.

 

Edited by lewelma

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

 

I think that if you change the grade the provider gave you, you can’t attribute that grade to the provider, so it will have to be a home taught course.

Just a thought on your comment. Not directed at you. 

 

This is where I'm confused.  Where would I attribute a grade to a provider on the transcript anyway?  In the school profile section?  

I just assumed that I'd put the grades on the transcript and not designate HOW the classes were taken/grades achieved (home taught vs online vs tutorial).  Maybe I'm missing something 🤯

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Just now, stacyh270 said:

 

This is where I'm confused.  Where would I attribute a grade to a provider on the transcript anyway?  In the school profile section?  

I just assumed that I'd put the grades on the transcript and not designate HOW the classes were taken/grades achieved (home taught vs online vs tutorial).  Maybe I'm missing something 🤯

 

I am footnoting, but I don’t know what others are doing.

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I put where/with whom the class was taken on the transcript as a superscript with a associated reference box.  VUW for Victoria University of Wellington, ABRSM Associated board of Royal Schools of Music, AoPS for Art of Problem Solving, TK for Te Kura, etc.  I didn't want them to have to chase footnote numbers, so made them recognizable letters. 

Then I described the different educational partners in the school profile. 

Edited by lewelma
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32 minutes ago, Mom2mthj said:

I am still new to all this as my oldest is a junior, but I do agree to feeling free to treat outside courses rather like group tutoring and a service to enhance the education of my children.  This is especially true to me when the provider does not even consider themselves a school.  The courses serve as a means for conflict avoidance (writing) or a risk free opportunity to explore a topic of interest that I can’t effectively provide (languages like Greek).  If a child gets a 92 in a class I don’t consider it changing a grade to make it reflect a common grade scale used on the transcript regardless of how the original course provider classified it.  If my child took an approved AP class I would not punish them by omitting that information on the transcript just because they didn’t take the exam or because they didn’t do well on the exam.  Students very frequently do not take the exam if they know they don’t want or need the college credit or know their target school won’t accept it anyway.

 

This a great viewpoint.  Do you plan to list any outside providers/curricula used on the transcript? I'm not sure I feel it is necessary unless it's a DE class taken through a university or CC 😕 

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I would use the public school's scale, adjust accordingly and keep careful paperwork showing the difference/adjustment/  

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I am not putting a grading scale on my transcript this time for two reasons.  The first is that I think that grades based on a percentage aren't optimal for classes that are reading, writing, and discussion based.  The second is that not all providers have the same scale, and my transcript lists all classes my son has taken.

Since all of our homeschool classes this time, with the exception of a few math courses, are reading, writing, and discussion based, I put a note in my school profile about how we teach to mastery and something to the effect that an A in math (he got all As in math) means that the student achieved an average of 95 or above on all exams, and that written work is evaluated only after it has been revised to a high standard.  And then I make very sure that my counselor documents demonstrate that I know what a high standard is for a piece of writing.

As an aside, I think that the 85-to-92-is-a-B type scales are idiotic.  They are just an attempt to make a school or course look more rigorous than it is.  

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When I was teaching in a school system that did 93 and up as an A, I used to curve everyone's to make it 90. I really do believe that if you master 90% of the material, you should get an A. But that's yet another illustration of how random it all is. It's just completely loose in schools too - they just try to act like it's not. Grades are so meaningless. Which is why I feel fine playing the game by manipulating it however I like for my kids. As long as I feel good and honest about what we did and what they learned and demonstrated, I'm not going to be fussed with worrying about this stuff.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

It's just completely loose in schools too - they just try to act like it's not. Grades are so meaningless. Which is why I feel fine playing the game by manipulating it however I like for my kids. As long as I feel good and honest about what we did and what they learned and demonstrated, I'm not going to be fussed with worrying about this stuff.

 

When my older sons were in ps they were offered extra credit for the most ridiculous things - like attending school sporting events, bringing in random things for the classroom (tennis balls, a cow heart, chili for the cook-off, etc.).  

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