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.
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.