Students Not Sold On Grade System Proposal

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Students Not Sold On Grade System Proposal
Kristen Ross

A new twist may be coming to Texas A&M report cards. Monday afternoon Texas A&M's Faculty Senate met and discussed a change to the current grading system. Faculty members are considering a "plus minus" designation accompanying letter grades.

Currently an A is 4 points, B: 3 points, C: 2 points and a D is 1 point. If passed, the new grading system would change a B+ ,for example, to a 3.3 and a B- to a 2.7.

The main concern for many students is that their Grade Point Ratio, or GPR, would negatively suffer under the proposed change. "Under the proposal a C- would be a 1.7," said Rich Pontious, the Academic Affairs Chair of the Student Senate. "Although a C is technically a passing grade for the class, if you made all C minuses for the term, you would receive a 1.7. That would keep you from being in good standing with the University."

However, Dr. Doug Slack Speaker of A&M's Faculty Senate says the new system would give a more accurate measure of student grades."I think the argument for plus minus grading is that it provides precision and a better understanding of what the student really knows and what they get out of class," said Slack.

The Student and Faculty Senates have differing views on how the proposed grading system could impact students after graduation. " It's very likely it could put students at a disadvantage when applying for jobs and professional schools against people of other universities who don't use such a plus minus grading system," said Pontious. However Dr. Slack stated, "I'm not sure a company or a firm or an agency makes a difference on hiring someone based on whether not they were +.25 better than another applicant."

After conducting a survey and getting student opinions, the Student Senate believes the majority of students are against the proposal. Slack, feels more research is needed before voting on the proposal can occur.

In the end Texas A&M President Dr. Robert Gates will have the final decision. Currently both students and faculty members are collecting data on the impact the grading system would have.