Lucerne schools to scrap grading system

Lucerne schools to scrap grading system

Primary schools in the city of Lucerne will soon scrap the 1 to 6 grading metric in favour of a new description-based system. Students will instead have their work marked as having “exceeded”, “achieved”, “partially achieved” or “not yet achieved” pre-determined targets.

Classic 1 to 6 grades being scrapped in Lucerne

The classic 1 to 6 grades in primary schools are being scrapped because the current system has been criticised by some teachers and education experts in the region. David Schuler, the rector (principal) of the Stadtluzerner Elementary School, told the Luzerner Zeitung that the new system is designed to switch from "simple evaluation to differentiated assessment and support."

Schuler went on to say that grades reduce students’ work and teachers’ teaching to a number, rather than actually giving valuable information that can be used to further educational development. "Grades give the illusion of accuracy and objectivity that never existed and never will… Grades devalue the work of teachers and students - at the end, there is simply a number, although there is much more to say", Schuler told the newspaper.

Lucerne parents mostly support new grading system 

According to Blick, the response from parents has been mostly positive, but it will take them some time to get used to. “The parents have been socialised with grades. We first have to convince them that we can better support their children if we change the system", Schuler said. 

Despite the new grading system, the canton still has a requirement to report grades once a semester, with one grade of 1 to 6 being mandatory on each report card. To resolve this problem, teachers in Lucerne will meet once a year at “assessment conferences”, where they will express the achievements of the individual learners in the classic grade format. However, all other grades students receive will be expressed in the new format.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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