High schools in Wake County and across North Carolina may not be the only ones that make the switch to the 10-point grading scale.
As part of Thursday’s vote to phase out the seven-point grading scale in high schools, the State Board of Education is encouraging school districts to also move elementary and middle schools to the 10-point scale. For school districts which have been citing consistency as the reason to use a seven-point scale in K-8, the state’s high-school vote could lead to more changes.
In North Carolina, the state sets the grading scale for public high schools. But it’s a local decision on what to use in elementary and middle schools.
In 2012, some Wake County school board members had urged school administrators to consider using a 10-point grading scale across the district’s schools. Officially, it’s a staff and not a board decision on what grading scales to use.
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But at the time, administrators pointed out that their hands were tied at high school. Administrators also said they wanted to keep the seven-point scale in middle schools to match what was used in high schools. As for elementary schools, Wake has used a 1 through 4 numerical grading system since 2004.
Wake will now have to revise its R&P (rules and procedures) for its grading policy to reflect the use of the 10-point scale in high schools beginning with freshmen in the 2015-16 school year. With the prior rationale gone for keeping the seven-point scale in middle schools, you could see that change as well.