Wake Ed

Wake County to increase access to advanced high school courses

A Wake County school board committee will hear Monday about plans to increase access to advanced high school courses and how new secondary school grading scales are being implemented.

Rodney Trice, assistant superintendent for equity affairs, will brief the student achievement committee on the new Equal Opportunity Schools initiative. Wake plans to increase access to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses at seven high schools.

District figures show that African American and Hispanic students are under-represented in advanced courses in high schools. Additionally, some Wake high schools offer a lot less AP and IB courses than other schools.

Staff will also discuss implementation of the new 10-point grading scale for high schools that was mandated by the State Board of Education. Under the new scale, an A will now be a 90 to 100 instead of a 93 to 100 in the old seven-point scale.

The 10-point scale will be used this fall with all high school students in North Carolina after complaints were raised about the original plan to only phase it in with the new freshmen class. But the change will not be retroactively applied to grades given in prior school years.

Staff will also discuss the other state change that reduces the amount of credit that high school students will receive for taking AP and IB courses. That change will only begin with the new freshmen class.

Additionally, Wake is implementing the 10-point scale in middle schools. That was a local decision.