A school district in northern Michigan changed some student grades – retroactively – because of a computer error.
The computer programming error occurred at Kingsley Schools – where the superintendent says about 2,000 student grades have been affected. The district noticed this spring and school officials began making changes before graduation this spring.
Dr. Keith Smith says the computer software system used to calculate the grades was incorrectly programmed; rounding student grades down. That’s contrary to the school’s student handbook policy. The superintendent’s own daughter was one of those affected, and along with the student’s mother, the two brought the issue to Smith’s attention. Another student transcript also showed errors, and grades were double checked for all current students. “When I checked it out, it was clear that a lot of kids were affected,” he said. “When I realized this. I took it to the school board. ”
Smith said, “So 2000 degrees was adjusted. For this year’s senior class, not only are their senior grades, but their junior, sophomore, and freshman grades are also set to be adjusted to the grading scale. And the juniors got it back in their sophomore and freshman years. That’s why it’s fixed for all of our current (and newly graduating) students.
The superintendent said once students graduate and the transcripts are complete, they are no longer able to make changes. But student grades are only corrected “up”-meaning no students are lowered in their grades by fixing. “No student grade is downgraded, we make sure no one gets hurt in doing it. It just adapts how the computer calculates the grades to what’s in the handbook, ”Smith said. “When that got to our attention, yes we knew it would affect a lot of kids, but you have to do what’s right,” Smith said.
Smith acknowledged some students have been negatively affected in the way of scholarships or other opportunities, and said “my heart is with them.” He added,