Madison school district tries new grading scale to prevent students from failing

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- Madison Metropolitan School District is trying out a new strategy to keep teens from failing out of school, and it starts with the grading scale.

The district said the current scale is out-of-date. School officials said MMSD’s 100-point grading scale has been the same since the industrial revolution and it's time for a change.

Some freshman teachers are trying a 10-point grading scale where each student has ten possible points to get an A through F. The lowest grade a student could receive is a forty or fifty percent instead of a zero.

School officials said this will help more students remain on track by the end of freshman year. They added daily instruction should be about teaching and learning, not failure.

"It's not that we're saying students shouldn't learn from their mistakes but we also want students to be able to come back from their mistakes and leave those courses with knowledge and skills not with failure," Cindy Green, MMSD Secondary Programs and Pathways Executive Director said.

MMSD officials said for the last three years they've been focusing on freshman grading systems. Officials said this is a pilot program and the district has not decided what practices, if any, they're going to cut out.