Controversial Federal Way grading system gets the boot

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - They're getting rid of it!

That complicated and confusing equation being used in the Federal Way School district to determine student grades has been voted out by the school board.

Tuesday evening brought the third school board meeting in the last several weeks dominated by concerns over the Power Law Standards Based grading, and once again parents and students lined up for a chance to complain to the school board.

Jordan Frederickson is a 10th-grader at Federal Way High School. She's tells KOMO Newsradio she's always gotten good grades, mostly As, but not this year. "I just feel like a failure pretty much, because we're capable of so much more, but it's showing that we're not, so then you just feel defeated."

Superintendent Rob Neu showed off results of a recent survey of teachers, students and parents about the grading system, indicating that even those who understand the complex arrangement don't think it's a good measure of student learning.

"Asked if they felt it (the grading system) accurately reflected their child's learning, only 18 percent said yes," he said.

Neu went on to recommend the school board suspend the Power Law and go to averaging, but conceded that some students may see lower grades as a result, while the majority should benefit from the change.

Details are to be worked out at a Dec. 3 work study session that will include a group of parents who've been fighting this for weeks.

Christi Frederickson-Willis told KOMO Newsradio she hopes they can all learn something from the awful experiment.

"I just really hope that from here on out the district will partner with its parents and that we never see a situation like this occur again."