SCCPSS parents propose pandemic grading criteria

Education

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) parents are concerned about their student’s final grades. They say the COVID-19 pandemic has created many difficulties for students and families.

Several parents spoke at Wednesday’s school board meeting proposing what they call “The Sills Solution.” It’s a grading formula that a Georgia Southern professor came up with to help boost final grades, but not every parent is on board with it.

For more than a year now the pandemic has disrupted the way students learn leaving most students learning virtually.

“Our high school students should not have to carry the trauma with them from this year into their future,” SCCPSS parent, Sari Gilbert-Batchelor said.

Parents are asking for the school board’s consideration to drop the lowest quarter grade for the year and calculate the final grade as the average of the top three-quarter grades.

“It’s simple. It remedies sense of unfairness and the arbitrariness that students feel and has shaped deeper attitudes toward education and learning more generally,” SCCPSS parent, Robert Batchelor said.

Dr. Andrew Sills is a math professor at Georgia Southern University and is the man behind “The Sills Solution.”

“Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary measures,” Sills said.

He said all students would receive a boost to their final grade to help mitigate “pandemic fatigue” and other difficulties. Some parents say making changes to grades is unfair to students who worked just as hard during this difficult year.

“I understand that inflating your grades makes your pass rate and your graduation rates look good but it is insulting to those students who put the work in,” SCCPSS parent, Angela Beck said.

Board members didn’t offer much comment on the plan, but some say to take these parent’s thoughts into consideration.

“We recognize there are people who are really hanging on to my child must make an A, but we also recognized that families and all of us have been traumatized in one way or another,” SCCPSS Superintendent, Dr. Ann Levett said.

It’s still unclear if the school district will take this plan into consideration as there are only a few weeks left of school. The parents say many high school students will be put at a disadvantage during the college application process if the grading criteria aren’t changed.

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