Should IPass Display Letter Grades Or A Numerical Value?


About once a month here at Hopkinton High School, students and their parents receive a progress report tracking the student’s efforts in each class. As helpful as progress reports can be, there are also some issues surrounding them. One of the largest questions resonating throughout the hallways is whether to use letter grades or the actual numbers to represent the grades. So, the questions boil down to: What are the benefits and drawbacks of letter grades versus number grades?
Senior Marissa Yezzi-Fourtunato was asked which she prefers, letters or numbers. ” I prefer the letter grades,” she says, “…let’s say I have an 87 in English, that would result in a B+. I could then tell my parents it is an 89 which is practically an A but ipass does not round up, it works in my favor, whereas an actual number would tell my parents that I have an 87.” On the other hand, when senior Brittany Watch was also asked these same questions, her response was exactly the opposite of Fourtunato’s. Wach says, ” I really would like to see an actual number when I look at my grades. It is really frustrating not knowing whether you have a low B+ (87) or a high B+(89), and there is no way to tell. I find it weird that the teachers can see number averages but we can only see letter grades. I think it would be much easier if everyone could see the same method whether it be letters or numbers.”
The debate as to whether to provide letter grades on progress reports or number averages continues here at HHS. Since there are pro’s and con’s to each method, choosing between the two is proving to be very difficult. As for now, if students would rather see their actual number averages, teachers have access to those numbers and most are happy to share them upon request.