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B.C. moved ahead with ending letter grades despite parent, teacher, student concerns

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s Ministry of Education went ahead with plans to do away with letter grades from Kindergarten to Grade 9 despite its own public consultation showing the majority of teachers, students and parents didn’t like the idea. 

A 97-page report completed in 2021 for the Education Ministry includes a survey of more than 4,000 people on the government’s new policy which includes assessing younger students as emerging, developing, proficient or extending, instead of grading them A to F. 

Overall, the document says 69 per cent of people reported being dissatisfied with the policy and only 13 per cent were satisfied, with the  dissatisfaction rate highest among teachers at 77 per cent, followed by students at 68 per cent. 

Education Minister Rachna Singh said last week that about half of all public school districts have already tested and adopted the new reporting style during a modernization of curriculum that started in 2016, while the rest would implement the change this September.

The minister said report cards will continue to update parents and caregivers about students’ progress and prepare students to succeed, whether in post-secondary education or in the future careers of their choice.

More than half the teachers reported low satisfaction when surveyed specifically about the so-called proficiency scale that would replace the letter grades, while 60 per cent of parents or caregivers and 83 per cent of students didn’t like the change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2023

The Canadian Press

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