Parents: New grading system lowering marks

National, Normal

The National, Thursday January 30th, 2014

 THE new system of grading students used by the Measurement Service Unit (MSU) is lowering marks. 

Parents of Grade 12 students countrywide are dealing with mass flunks by students, with some parents fronting up at schools and demanding answers from the head teacher. 

Some students who got A grade in their internal report ended up with C and D on their certificates, parents said.

They claimed criterion referencing was similar to the system used in universities and higher institutions to grade university students. 

With criterion referencing, categories are set for grading A, B, C, D, E and F. And students are expected to meet top categories to get good grading. 

A secondary school teacher in Lae, speaking on anonymity, said some schools were still using the norm referencing system while others had upgraded to the criterion referencing system. For those schools still using the norm referencing system, this may explain why their students had good marks in their internal reports but lower grading after final examinations because MSU used criterion referencing.

She also said: “The criterion referencing really shows the performance of the student. The grading shows how committed and focused the student is at his or her studies. The bar has been raised and students must now be fully committed to school to score good grades.”

The teacher made the comment after some parents complained and accused teachers of interfering with students’ internal marks.

Previously, schools use the norm referencing system to grade students based on the marks scored by the student out of the total marks. A student is awarded A grading for scoring the highest, followed by B grading for the next highest and so forth.