Commission proposes new grading scale

Later today, the so-called Grading Commission will present its recommendations to the government, after a year of efforts to revamp and revitalize the Danish school grading system

According to a press release from the Ministry of Education, the commission has identified five key points that a modern grading scale must meet.

The grading system must be internationally utilizable, to accommodate the increasingly international nature of educational programmes. The scale must be used uniformly throughout the educational system, and grades must reflect the degree to which a student has met the stated educational goals.

The commission has also stressed the importance of giving the grading scale a clear differentiation of levels - in other words, there must be a clear disparity from one grad to the next. Finally, the commission emphasized that the grading scale must be devised in such a way that makes it possible to compute grade point averages.

The Grade Commission compared Denmark's current 13-point grading scale to these five requirements and reached the following recommendations:

  • The 13-point grade scale should be abolished
  • A new grading scale should be implemented, with the following grades: -3, 0. 2. 4. 7. 10, 12, of which five are passing grades and two are failing grades
  • Precise goal descriptions must be presented for individual classes/subjects, so that it is possible to characterize the degree to which the educational objectives were achieved on a given assignment
  • Along with the new grading scale, a special effort should be made to inform students of the principles and guidelines of grade assessment
  • The grading scale should be reevalated every five years, so that developments in grading activity can be followed

Education Minister Ulla Tørnæs has called for a broad political debate over public school grading systems in the coming months, but has already agreed with the commission's findings on one point.

"It is critical that we adopt a grading scale that can be used internationally. There is a need to be able to compare grades in Denmark with grades in other countries, and this need must be addressed no matter what grading scale we used in the future," said Tørnæs.

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