The Merits of the Rolling Gradebook in Math

FCPS High School students benefit from a year-long grade as opposed to a quarter grade.


Allison O'Shea

Sophomore Andrea Marquez-Aguilar sees the benefits of the rolling grade in her own Algebra 2 grade.

Andrea Marquez-Aguilar, Staff Writer

Livia Spinale
Freshman Ashley Rodriguez proudly shows off her completed math homework.

A new grading system in math has been introduced to Lee High School during the 2018-2019 school year: the rolling gradebook. This administrative change has been controversial among students, but whether we realize it or not, it is benefitting us.

A rolling grade book is a never-ending gradebook that starts at the beginning of the year, and over time, averages out a student’s grade for the entire school year. This new way of grading does not allow the gradebook to reset for a new quarter but continues from one quarter to the next.

Geometry teacher Elizabeth Seitz believes that students benefit from the rolling grade. “It helps students because they don’t have to question themselves if they do badly on a test and how it would impact their grade. You don’t have to take the average of all of the quarters to be able to have an idea on what grade you will have,” Seitz said.
IB math teacher Pam Ihle believes that the rolling grade benefits teachers because they no longer have to deal with interruptions in a quarter.

“If you had two tests in one quarter and three tests in another, and four tests in another, the quarter with the two tests counts more than any other quarter. [With the rolling gradebook], we don’t have to worry about snow days, missing a unit of teaching and getting behind on the lessons. Some of the pressure is off in terms of feeling like you have to squeeze in extra tests at the end of the quarter,” Ihle said.

Some students view the new grading system as a huge problem. It is controversial because these students stress themselves out by not seeing a fresh beginning each quarter and the opportunity to bring up their grade.

Sophomore Aaron Pozo takes Algebra 2 and remains undecided on the new system. “It’s a tricky system and can be seen negatively and positively. It doesn’t give us an honest grade because one quarter we can be amazing in a certain topic, but next quarter we could tank down, which may be harder to change into what you want as your final grade,” Pozo said.

Yet other students don’t see any impact because they had a good grade going into a new quarter. Sophomore Perla Alvarenga is in Algebra 2 with Stephen Liddle, and she is okay with the rolling grade.

“I don’t really think its a problem because all it’s doing is averaging your past quarter grades and current grade so that you can see what grade you’ll end up with at the end of the year,” Alvarenga said.

Lee students interviewed have different opinions, whether it be dislike, uncertainty, or indifference.

When I took Geometry Honors last year, I was struggling a lot. I was always trying to calculate what grade I would need for the quarter to finish the year off with a B+ because my first and third quarter grades were not the best. This constant calculation stressed me out because I didn’t want to end up retaking the class simply because I didn’t like how I ended the year.

But this year, I can put that energy into something else. I now know that everything is being averaged out as I progress through math; my quarter grade is actually my final grade. And now, I am doing really well in Algebra 2. The rolling grade in math has helped me find a way to not stress over a class as much as I did last year.

The rolling grade is beneficial to all students. Even though we don’t start off fresh every quarter, the report card grade is actually the final grade, and ultimately, the grade that will appear on student transcripts.