Some B.C. parents and students are giving the B.C. Ministry of Education a failing grade this week.
That’s after the province announced that a “proficiency scale,” instead of letter grades on report cards, will be expanded to include Grade 9 students.
Grade 7 student Keon Shahbaz is appalled with the province’s move as what was once a pilot program is now applying to all B.C. public schools, scrapping letter grades from Kindergarten to Grade 9.
“I feel like I have had a hard time transferring between the two due to how vague the proficiency scale is. It seems subjective, the criteria are unclear (and) I feel like it’s been messing me up,” he told Global News
“I found it much easier to distinguish myself from my weaknesses in a classroom where letter grades are reported to you.”
Kian’s mother Mahta Boozari said a proficiency scale of assessment only encourages mediocrity and puts her children’s education at risk.
“Very upset, concerned and also frustrated,” Boozari said.
“The system does not allow for a child’s talent to be recognized. The way it’s designed puts all kids in the middle.”
A UBC Faculty of Education professor and elementary school teacher Victor Brar said the shift is part of an evolution in learning.
“It’s definitely time for a change (as) letter grades were a vestige of industrial society,” Brar told Global News.
“It’s a strength-based perspective where everyone is on the spectrum.”
The change has garnered a lot of attention online, with parents reacting to the news that only students in grades 10, 11 and 12 will receive letter grades and percentages.
Instead of letter grades, students will be assessed as “emerging, developing, proficient and extending.”