Will North Carolina high school teachers change the way they score students next school year because the state is phasing in the new 10-point grading scale?
As noted in today’s article, the State Board of Education’s decision to phase in the 10-point scale starting with next year’s freshmen class means that current high school students will keep the seven-point scale. The use of parallel grading scales for the next few years means students in multi-grade classrooms could get different letter grades despite having the same numerical score.
There’s speculation that teachers may alter what scores they give to avoid that kind of situation.
Wake County school board vice chairman Tom Benton said that phasing in the 10-point grading scale puts teachers in an unmanageable situation. He said he expects many teachers will act as if everyone is on a 10-point scale, adjusting scores so that students with the same score don’t get a different letter grade.
Benton said he’d do the same thing if he was still a high school teacher.
“I can’t imagine a teacher sitting there giving different letter grades for the same average,” Benton said.
Adam Geringer, 16, a Broughton High School junior who lobbied the state to change to the 10-point grading scale, said he’s been telling students not to worry about the phasing in of the new scale. He said he expects most teachers will unofficially implement the new scale for all students.
Geringer said the only people who probably won’t see any benefit from the 10-point scale are current seniors.
Deputy State Superintendent Rebecca Garland acknowledged that if teachers want to go around the policy, the state can’t do much about it.
“How a teacher evaluates a student, we can’t dictate that,” Garland said. “The teacher in the classroom makes the decision.”
“If a teacher feels by golly both students should get the same grade, we can’t control how a teacher sits at night and grades her work,” Garland also said.