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All NC High School Students May Shift To New Grading Scale Next Year

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North Carolina public high schools are shifting next year to a ten-point grading scale that will make it easier to get an A.  The plan was to phase it in beginning with freshman next year.  But that could lead to some sticky situations, so the state school board may decide to change it for all students next year. 

The shift to a ten point grading scale is all about equity when it comes to college applications.  That’s what State Schools Superintendent June Atkinson said in October when the board made the decision to make the change. 

“Some parents and some students felt as if they were at a disadvantage when they were competing with students in other states where they did have ten point scales,” said Atkinson.

Except that the way the board planned to make the shift would create plenty of inequity.  The plan was to phase it in over three years, so only freshmen would get the benefit next year. 

“If you had a freshman and a sophomore in the same class, one could have a 90 and have an A and another student could have a 91 and have a B,” points out Jack Hoke, the director of the North Carolina School Superintendents Association. 

Superintendents like the new grading scale, but worry about all the headaches a three year phase in could create.  

“We really felt like it would create undue issues with students and with teachers, having to keep up with two separate grading scales in the same class,” says Hoke. 

They made their concerns known to the state Department of Public Instruction.  So did a lot of parents who worried about the same situation, plus, how it could affect athletic eligibility. 

The department now supports shifting all high school students to the new grading scale next year.  The state school board plans to discuss that this week.