EDUCATION

Uintah, Utah School District Cuts Extra Credit From Course Grading

Aug 25, 2011 | Updated Oct 25, 2011

Forget about that last-minute extra book review or lab report to push that B+ to an A-.

Students in the sixth through 12th grades at one Utah school district will no longer be able to complete extra credit assignments to boost their grades.

A new course grading policy, approved by the Uintah School District Board of Education early this month, prohibits teachers from awarding extra credit. According to the policy, "all students will be given multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency within the grading period ... which will affect the final outcome of a student's grade."

Those multiple opportunities, as stated by the district's overall grading policy, are composed of no more than 30 percent "daily practice" -- such as homework and group assignments -- and no less than 70 percent "formative assessment/summative assessment" -- such as testing and other forms of evaluating progress and proficiency.

Officials say that prohibiting extra credit shifts course goals away from simply achieving high marks and toward better learning and improving coursework understanding.

"This better defines how we can help our kids, how we can intervene with specific knowledge and separate academics from actual academic," USD Student Services Director Kevin Dickson told the Vernal Express. "One of the problems I see is those students that because they are a good student and a nice kid don't get identified that they have a math problem, this will do a better job at identifying that."

Do you think students should still be offered the opportunity beyond the syllabus to play catch-up on grades? Weigh in below.

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