Chesterfield high schools move towards "easier" grading scale - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Chesterfield high schools move towards "easier" grading scale

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Getting an "A" in Chesterfield public schools may soon get a little easier. A new grading system is under consideration, which some students and parents believe, levels the playing field in the college admissions process.

The potential new grading scale was discussed Tuesday afternoon, at a Chesterfield County School Board work session. The change in grading would be to a 10-point scale. The system leaves four more points than the current system, for students to get an "A" or better letter grades in general. For example, a grade in the "A" range would start at a score of 90, instead of the current 94. The other letter grades would also be bumped up.

Parents and teachers in Chesterfield overwhelmingly agreed for a change to a ten-point scale. The results of an online survey showed 90 percent of parents and 73 percent of the teachers responding, were in favor of the switch.

Chesterfield County Schools Curriculum Director Dr. Jeremy Lloyd says there was concern that Chesterfield students were at a disadvantage when applying to college, or for scholarships. Most other school districts across the country use the more "lenient" ten-point scale.

"We were asked to look at it (the grading system) because the majority of other school divisions have switched to a ten-point grading scale," said Lloyd.

Lloyd says it's debated how much the grading system's  scale would realistically impact college admissions.

However, the new scale would help students in between two grads, like tenth grader Zach Dugger, see a difference on their report cards.

"All my grades are 90's. So, if they changed it, I'd be an ‘A' instead of a ‘B'," said Dugger.

Lloyd says that even though the new grading system appears to make things easier for students, it doesn't necessarily mean that better grades will be handed out.

"When we change the grading scale, there's an expectation that the assignments will be set at a higher level," continued Lloyd.

Lloyd also points to research which shows that students in other schools changing the grading scale, didn't score more "A's".

The new grading system must be approved by the school board, and wouldn't go into effect until the school year after next (2014 – 2015).

The Henrico School District also announced that it will be exploring a change to the ten-point grading scale, as well.

Chesterfield elementary schools will also be seeing changes on the report card. A new, numbered grading system was introduced, along with making report cards easier for parents to understand.

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