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Goodbye academic letter grades

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The typical grading scale in school is A - F, But with the pandemic, it has been tricky for teachers to put a letter on it. So, Governor Doug Ducey is stepping in to help make it easier on teachers, parents and students.

Governor Doug Ducey announced, no to letter grades.

He believes students have been kept out of school for far too long and said, "I have serious concerns about the learning loss that has occurred this past year. Getting kids caught up and on track needs to be a top focus of ours."

Earlier this week, Governor Ducey signed House Bill 2402.

"This legislation ensures students continue to be elevated, so we can get them the help they need, while also recognizing this year is unique and provides some flexibility around the state's A-F letter grade system."

News 4 Tucson spoke with Pima County Superintendent of Schools, Dustin Williams.

"Pausing for the letter grade A-F for schools is a really good idea."

Williams said, the students will really benefit from this new system.

"We also know it is not a great snapshot for our students to actually know how they are doing physically, emotionally and just in general."

Williams added, he is not a fan of the A-F grading system.

"What happens is if a student takes a test one time a year, that does not tell me how the student is doing throughout the whole entire year."

News 4 Tucson spoke to a Marana Parent.

"I used to always tell my daughter and my son, we do not accept C's in this house. We are B's and A's. That is what we work for," said Parent Peter Hughes.

Hughes added, the pandemic has been challenging for the community.

"So what is the added stress of a letter grade?"

So, his views on the grading system have changed.

"It is tough just living in this COVID world right? So I am willing to be flexible as long as my kids are still learning. I don't really care if they get A's B's or C's as long as they are learning. I think that is the important thing."

"At this point that will be postponed is what I have heard. Then schools will use their own internal benchmarks as they already do on a quarterly basis," said Williams.

The grading system will continue through the end of the school year.

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Allie Potter

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