Fort Worth ISD is updating its high school grading policies to meet new state requirements and better reflect the performance of our students.
The changes – including graduation requirements and calculation of class rank -- will impact only current ninth graders and those who enter high school in the future. No change will occur for current sophomores, juniors or seniors.
For current ninth graders and future high school students, the State of Texas is requiring End of Course tests (EOC) for 12 core courses in lieu of previous standardized testing. EOC tests will count for 15 percent of the student’s final grade. The remaining 85 percent will be determined by class work.
Tested courses earn full credits only
Because the EOC test must be calculated in the final grade, credit for these tested courses will not be awarded by semester, only by year. It will no longer be possible to receive a half credit for a tested course – the credit will either be earned fully or not at all. (Note: non-tested courses may still earn half credits.) It must be noted that EOC tests are required for middle school students who take a tested high school course.
It is the goal of Fort Worth ISD to position every student for success. There are options available should the student have trouble passing the course or the EOC test. First of all, our teachers will use curriculum with the direct objective of preparing every student for the coursework as well as the EOC test. If a student is not successful, teachers are required to present content again and employ additional strategies to help the student to learn. If a student passes the course through strong grades in his/her classwork but fails the EOC test, the student must retake the EOC test until a minimum qualified score is achieved. This is a requirement for graduation.
If the opposite happens, and a student fails the course because of poor grades but passes the EOC test, the student will be given an opportunity to earn “Credit by Exam” to qualify for graduation. If, however, the student fails this exam, he or she will be required to retake the course in order to graduate. Furthermore, if the student fails both the course and the EOC, the student will retake the class in its entirety.
Re-taking EOC tests
Students may re-take EOC exams. Some, as mentioned above, will re-take the test in order to earn the minimum score required for graduation. Other students may have passed the test but wish to re-test in order to achieve a higher score. While this may be done to improve the student’s College Readiness Score, subsequent passing scores will not be used to improve GPA, class rank or final grade. Only the first final grade will be used in calculating GPA. Simply put, a student may re-take the test to meet graduation requirements, but not to improve class standing.
To better reflect the accomplishments of our students, Fort Worth ISD is implementing an updated system for determining GPA and class rank. For current ninth graders and future high school students, courses will now be organized into three tiers instead of two.
Tier 1 classes will be awarded on a 5 point scale. These courses include advanced placement, international baccalaureate and dual credit.
Tier 2 classes will be calculated on a 4.5 point scale and will include pre-AP, pre-IB and honors courses.
Regular classes will be classified as Tier 3 and calculated on a 4 point scale. The District is encouraged that this will fairly distinguish between the most rigorous of courses and regular courses.
Additionally, a graduated GPA scale will now be used to provide further recognition for true academic excellence. Previously, there was no distinction between, for example, a perfect 100 or a 91. Now, this will be weighted accordingly, with 97-100 receiving the highest point value (a 4 for a Tier 3 course, for example) and an A or A- receiving slightly less (see accompanying chart).
Graduated GPA scale (using 5 point, Tier 1 course example)
97-100 = 5
94-96 = 4.8
91-93 = 4.6
87-90 = 4.4
It is the mission of Fort Worth ISD to continually meet our state requirements while placing our students on the path for the highest level of success possible. We welcome any questions and encourage you to speak to your campus academic counselor.
Beginning with this year’s graduating class, Fort Worth ISD is implementing universal guidelines for Latin honors as follows:
Summa Cum Laude: the highest two percent of the graduating class
Magna Cum Laude: the next highest three percent of the graduating class
Cum Laude: the next highest five percent of the graduating class