Will Federal Way schools dump controversial grading system?

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Less than a third of the way into the new school year, Federal Way may be ready to toss out a complicated and confusing new grading system.

A group of parents and teachers who have organized against the new system will meet with district administrators on Wednesday.

Tammy Barrier will be there.

She has two children in middle school and one in high school in Federal Way and has been integral in the push to fix the system many see as entirely unfair and illogical.

"It's not fair to put a system that is so complex across 22,000 students. It's just not equitable," she says.

At recent meetings, school board members urged frustrated parents and students to give the new grading system a chance, but Barrier says grades on high school transcripts matter now, and they can't wait.

Barrier tells KOMO Newsradio, "Those grades stick on your transcripts and when you're applying to colleges, for scholarships ... when you're trying to retain your athletic eligibility, whether you're trying to get good student discounts on your insurance, it matters."

So today, the group is asking the district to dump the Power Law Standards Based system and replace it for the remainder of this school year with a simpler averaging of marks throughout a course to come up with a final grade.

"It encourages and proposes to them to put the current grading system on hold effective immediately," Barrier says.

Barrier adds she's been encouraged after meeting with school board members in recent days, after initially feeling the board was dismissing their concerns.

The Federal Way School District is also asking every parent in the district for feedback on the grading system through a survey on its website.