In recent times, the four-point grading scale has become increasingly popular, and numerous educators have adopted it for assessing students' work. However, this shift has sparked controversy, with opinions divided between those who favor the change and those who oppose it. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of employing the four-point grading scale.

To begin, the four-point grading scale has some benefits for both the students and the teachers. Instead of grading students on a 100-point grading scale where there can be 100 different levels of performance on a task, teachers only have to give out a number from one to four. While interviewing some teachers on their opinion on the four-point grading scale, a history teacher, Christopher White, said, “A four-point scale is simpler to me and more straightforward. I think it makes grading simpler because on any given assignment there’s just zero to four, as opposed to zero to 100…”

Andrew Comb, director of curriculum and assessment, feels that the four-point scale is a more accurate way to measure a student’s performance. The four-point scale gives an advantage to the students because it helps those who have missing assignments or zeros. For example, if a student has homework that uses a 100-point scale and then forgets to turn something in and gets a 0%, the overall grade is now 50%. However, if the teacher is using the four-point scale, the average grade would be a C instead of an E. These are two of the main reasons why people advocate for using the four-point scale.

Nevertheless, there are notable drawbacks associated with the adoption of this new grading scale. From a personal perspective, it seems that this grading system poses challenges for students aiming to achieve high grades. Attaining a perfect grade on every assignment, test, or quiz can be challenging, and some minor errors can result in receiving a lower grade, such as a B or a C. This situation has raised concerns about fairness, especially for high-achieving students who now face difficulty maintaining their usual high grades. With students who typically receive lower grades, like Cs, now achieving As or Bs, the distinction between the consistently high-achieving students and those who usually receive Cs becomes blurred. Food science teacher Kacy Bryon also commented, "But overall, I think what’s happening and what we’re seeing is that students that normally would get As are struggling to get as many As, and then the students who, you know, maybe aren’t in class as much are able to get Cs…"

The four-point grading scale also is complicated and confusing for students. This is because the scoring system is not transparent enough for students to understand how their grades are calculated. I have heard many of the students at CA say how weird it is to have a fractional score like 3.67 and not know how the teacher arrived at that specific number, leading to confusion about the grading criteria. Family and consumer science teacher Heidi Pendergraff even said, “...However I also struggle with the break off of each score. I wish that the breakthrough should be all one point so that it could be more in line…”

In summary, the four-point grading scale has its merits and trade-offs. While it is easier for teachers and can help those students who are struggling, there are still many drawbacks in terms of transparency and fairness. As a result, even though some teachers are starting to implement this grading scale into their classes, I feel like this grading scale needs to be further evaluated and considered.