Grade-bump proposal gets mixed reviews: San Diego Union-Tribune

Grade bumping. It happens…and happens more than you think.

See this article printed yesterday in the San Diego Union-Tribune where a high school is bumping up scores to students who score well on (you guessed it…) state tests. Oh God…

Consider this excerpt:

San Marcos High School could be onto something with its proposed “grade-bump” program, which would reward students who do well on standardized state tests with higher grades.

But the idea isn’t embraced by everyone.

Principal Julie Mottershaw wanted to find a way to motivate high school students to do their best on state tests, a problem that has stumped educators. Many high school students don’t care how they do because their scores make a difference to their schools, but not to them.


San Marcos High started its round of annual state testing Thursday. A decision about whether to adopt the grade-incentive program hasn’t been made, Mottershaw said. A committee is reviewing the proposal for possible implementation in the fall but may suggest other ideas, she said.

Many schools encourage students to take the tests seriously with promises of parties and stunts involving the principal. In the weeks leading up to the tests this year, Mottershaw visited classrooms and urged students to do well. How well such methods work, however, is unknown.

Under San Marcos’ proposal, students in regular English, math, science and history classes with grades of F through C would get their grades increased by one letter, for one semester, with a “proficient” or “advanced” score on the corresponding state tests.

Students with B’s and students in honors and Advanced Placement classes would need an “advanced” score to get the bump. Students with A’s would get privileges, such as free dance passes, with “advanced” scores in three or more subjects.

How much more dumbing down of our schools can one take?

E.C. 🙂


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