Point of View

NC school grades on a downward curve

April 3, 2014 

North Carolina is one of the few states that has not standardized the 10-point grading scale for its schools. Our state grades our students on a 7-point grading scale, thereby making a North Carolinian GPA appear substantially lower than other state school systems, for the same amount of work. In theory, the 7-point grading scale causes students to work harder to receive an A, but in the end, it causes students to have little to no pay off.

I know this, because I am a student, at Broughton High School, and I see the disadvantage that my fellow classmates and I are at.

Let’s say I earned a 92 in English, an 83 in Algebra, a 75 in Spanish and a 69 in Biology. If I lived in Florida, I would receive an A, B, C and D, but since I live in North Carolina, I would receive a B, C, D and F; thereby making my GPA a 1.5, rather than the 2.5 I would receive in Florida.

Just this year, Ravenscroft, a private school in North Raleigh, implemented a form of the 10-point grading scale, and the results have been great. The 7-point vs 10-point grading scale is more of a psychological deterrent more than anything, but since Ravenscroft changed the scale, all I’ve been hearing are cheers of joy and public school students green with envy.

By far the most shocking issue about this debate is the opposition, or lack thereof. I went through the halls of my school and filled up one whole petition sheet without a single teacher opposing it. I stopped petitioning teachers because of the overwhelming support I received. The only opposition I received is from the law-makers and bureaucrats, the people who just look at the statistics of a study, without experiencing the passion or reasons behind a persons answer.

I wrote, and submitted, a bill that would essentially still let schools operate on the 7-point scale, but on a student’s final transcript it would include their grades readjusted to the 10-point scale. The 10-point grades are only there to provide colleges with more information about students’ final grades and allow N.C. students to start on a level playing field with students from other states.

In reality, the 10-point scale vs. 7-point scale is really just a mental barrier, but at that, it’s a mental barrier that needs to be torn down.

Adam Geringer is a student at Broughton High School in Raleigh.

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