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Lynchburg City Schools may move to 10-point grading scale

Published on: 
Mon, 06/11/2012
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How many points should equal an “A” for Lynchburg City Schools students? How about an “F”?

Currently, an A begins at 94, according to the division’s grading scale for regular classes. A 69 or below is a failing grade.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand, concerned that the current system may be undermining student competitiveness, has asked the school board to adopt a 10-point scale division wide, which would have an “A” begin at 90 and a “D” begin at 60.

The school board discussed the issue last week, and is scheduled to vote at its next meeting on June 19.

The division currently uses the 10-point scale for just Advanced Placement, Central Virginia Governor’s School and dual-enrollment courses. Other classes in grades 3-12 use the regular grading scale.

Members of a group called Fair Grade Lynchburg brought concerns about the current grading scale system to the attention of the school board three years ago, prompting discussion, but not consensus on a change.

“Leading is making decisions and tonight we have a decision for you on the grading scale,” Brabrand told the board on Tuesday, after pointing to Assistant Superintendent Al Coleman’s work bringing the proposal to the board.  

The administrators argued a student’s GPA turns out higher when students are graded on the 10-point scale. Even though college admissions counselors may take the grading scale into account, they said, the simple grade point average number holds power in college admissions.

Fairfax County, where Brabrand served as an assistant superintendent before coming to Lynchburg in April, moved to a 10-point grading scale a few years ago, as have many other school divisions.  Administrators said they did not know of any school divisions in Virginia that have moved from the 10-point scale to one that requires a higher score to make each grade. 

Furthermore, they argued it would be better, for consistency’s sake, to have one grading scale instead of two. The argument of consistency seemed to sway some school board members.

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