BALTIMORE (WJZ)—School officials in Baltimore County are speaking out after a new controversial grading policy goes into effect.

While the classrooms may look the same, report cards this year will look different.

Starting now, “marking period grades will be based solely on achievement of course and grade level standards”.

“We want to make sure that an “A” truly does mean that a student has mastered material,” said Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance.

Classroom conduct, homework completion and ability to work with others will not factor into the overall grade.

It’s a concept that has some concerned.

“The homework thing–how do you just completely take out homework? That’s a big part,” said Tia Tucker. “When I was growing up that was a big part of your grade.”

“Homework is important; it teaches you how to study,” said Latanya Morris.

Parents also sounding off on the school’s Facebook page calling the new system “ridiculous” saying it’s “lowering standards”.

But school officials say they believe giving a student a zero percent for an incomplete homework assignment does not motivate them to work any harder.

“Homework still counts. It’s not going to be calculated into the final grade or to the marking period grade,” said Dr. Dance.

Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance says grading is part of the national conversation right now and he wants to make sure students understand a subject before moving on.

“I have several conversations with parents who will tell me, ‘My child got an A in the course, but they’re struggling in the next course.’ Or, ‘My child got an A in an AP course, and they failed the AP test.’”

The new grading system will be reassessed at the end of the school year, officials say.

A committee of parents, teachers and administrators helped devise the new system.

As assessment of homework, participation and attendance will appear separately on report cards.

READ BELOW to learn more about the new grading policy.