Fight to the finish: understanding the X grade


Kaitlyn Hankard

Just because you’ve gotten A’s in the past doesn’t mean you’re safe from the X grade.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “X marks the spot.”  But if one shows up on your transcript, your situation is anything but golden.

At CHS, students need 4 quality points (D = 1, C = 2, B = 3, A = 4) to pass a course for the year. When a student has achieved 4 quality points, which could be achieved with one A during the first marking period, sometimes their motivation level greatly decreases and the student does not do anything for the rest of the year.

The X-Grade is meant to stop this from happening.

If a student is issued an X-Grade, despite having passed the course mathematically, they will not receive credit for the course. But the issuance of the X-Grade is a long process in which a teacher first talks to a student, giving them a chance to complete a set of missed assignments in a certain amount of time. If the student does not follow the requirements, the teacher would go to the grade level principal to issue the X-grade.

Do you think the X grade is fair?


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“I believe that the X-grade should exist,” said freshman Travis Ritter. “As long as the student is in school, they should at least attempt to get a D, since it isn’t difficult to get the grade at all. If the student isn’t going to do anything, then yes, they should get the failing grade.”

Mark Alwine, a math teacher at CHS said, “In 12 years of teaching, I have only had to go through the process of issuing the X-Grade once. Within our system of quality points, I do believe it is the best option for combating lackadaisical attitudes.”

“In regard to math, which I teach, 180 days is a very short amount of time to complete some very advanced concepts,” Alwine added. “If students stop learning and completing assignments after the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd marking periods, they are missing a significant chunk of information that will then be used again in later courses.

With this process, it allows the student multiple opportunities to complete required coursework and finish their course successfully. But that may not always be the case because an administrator could give an X-Grade if they strongly believe that the student did not try their best the whole school year.

According to Mr. Michael Black, CHS’s grade 12 principal, “Based on the way our grading policy is set up, the X-grade is needed to make sure students can have a passing grade all four marking periods, and [it] ensures a student works for the entire year for any given class.”

The X grade can actually help students prepare for the future.  As Alwine explained, “If we were to compare this [situation] to a potential job the student might have, if they complete a project and then they shut down and refuse to work, they would be fired from said job. The X-Grade mimics this, but gives students a long process for which they can recover their grade.”