Some schools replacing letter grades with new number system

Some schools replacing letter grades with new number system »Play Video
SUMNER, Wash. -- Students in some local school districts are facing a big change in the way they're graded.

Gone are letter grades, which have been replaced by number grades and what educators hope are higher standards.

Instead of getting one cumulative letter grade per class, students will get several different number grades for each class. Each number reflects the student's ability to meet each of the set objectives of the class.

Teachers say the number grades offer a more defined, detailed approach to teaching that focuses on individual skills.

"Gone are the days of A, B, C, D, F -- where there's one big grade," said teacher Tracey Brown. "The way we're evaluating students is much more targeted. That word 'target' is key. We've identified standards we want students to meet."

Under the new system, there's no grading on a curve, no extra credit, no points for things like scavenger hunts.

"I think it's more truthful," said teacher Leslie Lauretano. "I think it's more fair."

In some cases, students will still get to re-take tests in an effort to bring their number grade up to a standard.

"It's about getting all of our students to the standard, all of our students to meet the bar," said Lauretano.

There are some concerns that the new number system may not work well in high school where students' grade point averages are emphasized.

Other districts are also phasing in this new number grading system, including Puyallup and Federal Way.