The Laughter Online

# BREAKING: Major changes on the way in grade calculation

by Carl Bernstein, investigative reporter | April 29, 2020

For Saint Francis students, one of the best feelings at the end of a semester is receiving a percentage grade that rounds up to a higher letter grade. For instance, a 79.58% rounds up to 80%, raising a C+ to a B-, and a 92.50% rounds up to a 93%, raising an A- to a prized A. Many a dinner-table conversation with the parents has been saved thanks to the wonders of mathematical rounding.

However, the Saint Francis Academic Office has announced a dramatic change— which will be enforced from the fall semester of 2020-21 on. Beginning next school year, student grades will no longer be rounded. That’s right—Saint Francis educators have decided to end the policy of grade rounding. Now, a 92.5% will stay an A-. Family dinners are about to become way more uncomfortable.

With the death of grade rounding, grades will now be measured exactly to the thousandths of a percent, beyond even the range that Schoology allows for its visual presentation. The bar for an A, for instance, will now be a 93.000%, not a 92.5%.

Apparently, this change has been long in the making. After many long discussions—remember all those crucial collaborations cut short due to “faculty meetings”?— educators from all academic departments at Saint Francis concluded that the current policy of grade rounding was detrimental to the school’s educational mission. The teachers reasoned that students were likely to aim for lower grades because their grades could be rounded up.

“Rounding students’ grades is hurting our school’s academic achievement. Take a student who wants an A in a class. We shouldn’t be motivating students to do the bare minimum in order to squeak by with a 92.6%,” said a teacher who declined to state his name because he didn’t want the students in his Physics Honors class to know how he felt about this momentous change.

The impending removal of the current preference for rounding has been met with backlash from almost all students and even from some teachers. Hundreds of students are angry that their hard-earned grades could drop, resulting in an overall drop in GPA that could affect their chances of admission into their dream colleges. Additionally, one teacher said that the removal of rounding would make grading far more complicated. This reporter declined to point out to this teacher that Schoology calculated the grades, rounded or not.

The anticipated unpopularity of this program has led many Saint Francis teachers to take the precaution of torch-and-pitchfork proofing their classrooms. “I can’t even mention the numbers 89.5 or 92.5 any more in class,” one math teacher commented. “It’s as if only integers are allowed! I can’t work under these conditions!”

However, some students have enthusiastically welcomed the new policy. “I hate ending a semester with a 92.49% in a class,” one current junior whined. “It makes me hope that the teacher will bump my grade. This way, I’ll never even have hope in the first place! I’m embracing nihilism whole-heartedly!” Another junior agreed, “My junior year classes are too easy right now. I welcome this challenge! Fight me!”