With no Madison Metropolitan School District policy on grading at the four comprehensive high schools, administrators and teachers have room to implement their own practices.
Bottom-up decisions can help get buy-in from the teachers and staff carrying out any changes, but also mean that changes happen on different timelines, like the recent change at West High School to institute “grading floors” for its freshmen students. While that seemingly creates an inconsistency among the high schools, MMSD executive director of secondary programming Cindy Green pointed out that consistency in grading hasn’t existed here for years.
“Because there is no board policy, teachers right now have the autonomy to develop their own grading practices and their own determination around assignment weights,” Green said. “It’s not new.”
Madison West high school has conducted several experiments over the years, including:
Small Learning Communities
“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) east, especially if you are Black or Hispanic.