The current grading system of Souhegan High School is not just a failure, it is one of shocking proportions. The current system tries to meld together a competency-based system with a letter grade system and is failing, proving to the school that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
The grading system is confusing and a complete mess to understand. The system tries to give you a course grade but completely refuses to give overall grades to assignments. This makes it incredibly difficult and frustrating when trying to improve your grade. The system is inherently based on overall grades, so why can we not just have a grade for an assignment? This leads to a disconnect between students, teachers, and the work they are doing. Who asked for this grading system because it was certainly not the students and from many teacher’s perspectives it certainly wasn’t them. There is a major problem when parents can not understand the grades students are getting on assignments. This leads to yet another disconnect, this time between parents and their child’s progress at school. With a disconnect between teachers, students, and their parents, it creates an interconnected discombobulating mess that is only functional in that absolute most basic sense of the word.
The software Empower is a complete failure in all departments. Virtually all the teachers talk about how awful the user interface is and how confusing the software is to use. The software is riddled with bugs and frequent crashes. An example of this over-complexity is that there are over 13 different options for a single report card.
As Souhegan moves away from a standard grading system it is moving away into unknown territory with no precaution. This switch seems to have had no forethought or care put into it. The switch from letter grades to a semi competency-based so far has left nothing but confusion, and frustration that comes back to ultimately hurt the students. This change was made with pure ignorance and should provide a lesson for the future about making these radical changes.