10 points from Gryffind- N.C. education system


The Appalachian Online

Lindsey Chandler

Public school grading systems are slowly becoming more reasonable in the state of North Carolina.

The State Board of Education unanimously approved the switch to a 10-point grading scale from the previously-used seven-point scale Oct. 2.

On the seven-point scale, a final class grade between 93 and 100 resulted in an A, while a class grade between 85 and 92 would be a B. With the new scale, the lowest grade a student can earn and still make an A is a 90, with 80 being the lowest grade a student can earn for a B, according to the Charlotte Observer.

This change will bring students to a more even comparison across the nation, since some states such as Arkansas, California and Florida have already implemented the 10-point scale statewide.

In a statement made by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison, it is the hope that students will earn more A’s and B’s, be placed on the honor roll and stay in school rather than drop out. They may even be more motivated to take advanced courses, he said.

In August, the board also voted to change the amount of credits that students earn for taking Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and honors courses to better reflect the credit systems within colleges and universities.

Students will now receive only five points for AP and IB courses, and only four and a half points for honors courses, a decrease from the original six and five respective points.

The state has also agreed to cover the fees for students to take AP exams.

For some these changes may seem to good to be true – and in a way they are. Although the state is working toward a more reasonable grading system that reflects the system presented for college students, its application could be improved.

These changes will be implemented starting in the 2015-2016 academic year. This means that current students will still be covered by the old policies, according to the News & Observer.

Incoming freshmen will be the first to be judged against the 10-point grading scale and the new grading policy. By the 2018-2019 school year, the system will be fully integrated.

This presents three years’ worth of college-bound seniors who will not have the opportunities to take advantage of the policy changes.

In fairness, I believe that the most deserving of these opportunities are those who are entering their senior years. In order for as many students to benefit from this as much as possible, it should be implemented for all grade levels starting in the next academic year.

What’s worse is that students of varying grade levels will have to face each other in the classroom.

One can only imagine the amount of times the term “unfair” will be thrown around amidst students, as if their stress levels weren’t already high enough.

It isn’t completely just to tout a statewide change for a long-sought-after system, and then deprive the majority of current high school students of it, never giving them a chance.

Chandler, a senior psychology and Spanish major from Cary, is the opinion editor.