School grading system

I’m sure at some point of everyone’s education, the same question is pondered: why is there no grade letter E? There’s A, B, C, D, and F, and in my school we even use K for special education purposes, but why not E?

Another random question of mine is why one fails an assignment if they get half credit or below (50% or less). One would assume that a C, or an equally average grade, would equal 50%, not the 70% it equals in actuality. Why is this?

I cannot speak for the mysterious absence of “E,” except that it is often used to represent “Excellent” in the behavior section of report cards. (Elementary schools often have different letter grades for behavior than academics.)

Of course, this is no longer the case in numerous California districts such as mine. We have switched to the much confusing 1-2-3-4 grading system, where 1=not proficient; 2=approaching proficiency; 3= proficient; and 4=advanced proficient. Replace “proficient” in each of those with “grade level,” and you get the better idea of its meaning.

As for the 50%=failure, my understanding is that a skill is considered mastered at 80%. If it’s mastered at 80%, then 50% is you-have-a-vague-idea-but-not-a-complete-understanding of the concept.

Cite? Off hand, the Saxon math program we use in our distict has professed this after doing the research in developing the program.

In my school system, the letter E was used to denote “Failing, but improving”, or “Putting in lots of effort, but still failing”.

When I went to grade school, each teacher would put their marks on the card and pass it on to the next teacher. One of them was marking cards in class one day, saw someone else marked “F+”, and wondered what the point was. He then said, “what the hell, I’ll give him an F+ too!”

Looking back, he probably should not have mused out loud, but it was funny at the time. My guess is that the “F+” meant the same thing as your “E.”

When I was in school, the grades were A, B, C, D, E. There was no F. E was failing. Apparently other school systems couldn’t resist representing “failing” with an F, even though the other four grade letters didn’t stand for anything. Since I grew up with E’s, when I first saw F’s used instead I thought it was pretty stupid. Apparently it’s pretty common, though. (But it’s still stupid.)

I’ve attended schools where the grades were A, B, C, D, E, F; A, B, C, D, E; 5, 4, 3, 2, 1; and 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. Of course, different schools–no one school used more than one system.

An old thread on the same subject: