River Valley student says grading system hurts learning
Teachers who typically stay after-hours to tutor studious teens have been closing their doors this month, after receiving a mandatory directive from the Yuba City Unified School District to submit grades in a specified timeframe.
According to River Valley High School student Sumana Kondle, the new grading system requiring YCUSD teachers to evaluate students' work within seven days has had a negative effect on the people it was designed to help: Students.
"The teachers have had a change of grading policies," she said at a district board meeting on Tuesday, "and that has impacted us as students."
Under the new grading directive, implemented on Feb. 5, instructors have seven days to submit grades through an online system, which then becomes immediately available to parents.
The regulation only effects faculty who teach grades 6 through 12, and projects are given an extended 10-day submission period.
Kondle said she now gets no help from her biology teacher because he has become unavailable before exams. He also changed the class' exams from written tests to multiple choice tests to speed up grading, she said.
If teachers fail to post the grades within seven days, they could face disciplinary action from the district, including suspension.
District Superintendent Nancy Aaberg said a suspension would be unlikely, and only used as a last resort. However, the option will be available if a teacher refuses to abide by the rules.
"It's the job," Aaberg said, "and if you're not doing it, there could be consequences."
Aaberg said the grading system was put in place because parents deserve to know how their child is doing in a timely manner.
"This is related to the school district's goal of increasing communication and outreach with parents," she said.
During the past few weeks, however, teachers have been expressing a considerable amount of frustration over the district's request, said Dina Luetgens, president of the Yuba City Teachers' Association.
"That seven-day timeline is a rigid timeline that has real impacts on how we get our job done," Luetgens said.
The union had planned to meet with the district this week to discuss the grading directive. However, the meeting was canceled so that each side could be fully prepared, Aaberg said. A new meeting had not been scheduled as of Wednesday morning.
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