High School Grade Calculations

Within a proficiency-based grading system at our high schools:

  1. Teachers and students are able to prioritize skill development instead of point accumulation;
  2. Teachers will all use the same formula to calculate end-of-course letter grades;
  3. Students will still earn a letter grade on their report cards;
  4. Schools still calculate GPAs for transcripts.
  5. Each course has a list of standards determined essential for success;
  6. Students will receive a score on each standard.

High School Grade Letter Calculation

Grades will not be calculated differently by each teacher through accumulating percentage points for homework, tests, and classwork. Instead, grades will be calculated by all teachers using the following common formula:

A: Met or exceeded all standards. Student earns 4s & 3s on all standards.

B: Met most priority standards. Student earns half or more 4s & 3s on all standards and no 1s on any standards.

C: Met some priority standards and made progress on all standards. Student earns less than half 4s & 3s on all standards and no 1s on any standards.

D: Made progress on all standards. Student earns 2s on all standards.

I or F: Student earns 1 on any standards. I = In Progress, insufficient evidence of learning or of reaching basic standards. With additional time, student may successfully complete the course. F = Not enough evidence of learning. Student needs to repeat the course.

Levels of Proficiency

In the proficiency system:

  • Each course has a list of standards determined essential for success;
  • Students will receive a score on each standard;
  • All teachers will use the following system to score and provide feedback to students on each standard:
    • 4: Exceeds the Standard
    • 3: Mastery of the Standard
    • 2: Approaching the Standard
    • 1: Partial Knowledge of the Standard with Assistance
  • In High School courses, students who meet or exceed all standards will earn an A; Students who meet or exceed most standards will earn a B.

College and Career Preparation

Colleges and Universities have been awarding credit to high school students based on proficiency for decades through the following avenues:

  1. College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program
  2. International Baccalaureate (IB) Program
  3. College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

In these systems, students who can show proficiency by scoring high enough on a test are given college credit. A student who struggled at the beginning of an AP course but improves and scores a 5 on that final exam is given the same college credit as the student who excelled initially and scores a 5. The college only takes into consideration what the student can show they have learned by the end of the course, and disregards the pace a student needed to achieve that learning.

The following are examples of Colleges and Universities that provide proficiency-based degrees, certifications, or courses as part of their offerings for students. Sometimes these systems are called mastery-based, or competency-based.

  1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  2. University of Wisconsin
  3. University of Michigan
  4. Michigan State University
  5. Yale University
  6. Northwestern University
  7. Penn State
  8. Stanford University
  9. Duke University
  10. John Hopkins University
  11. Purdue University
  12. University of Kentucky
  13. Western Governors University
  14. University of Nebraska
  15. Vanderbilt University

The following are examples of organizations that offer proficiency-based, competency-based, or mastery-based certifications to train and improve the workforce:

  1. Google
  2. Goldman Sachs
  3. IBM
  4. Cisco
  5. Association of Certified Professional Accountants