Leveling the playing field for local students

Richmond City, Henrico County, and Chesterfield County Schools consider switching to a 10-point grading scale in hopes to help students hold their own against their counterparts in Virginia and across the country.

As public school kids are gearing up for the start of the 2013-2014 school year, school board reps from Richmond City, Henrico County, and Chesterfield County are looking into alternatives as to how those students will be graded in 2014-2015 and beyond.

Currently Richmond City Public Schools and Chesterfield County Public schools operate on a six-point grading scale; Henrico works on a seven-point scale. Over the last several months, each school system has begun exploring the option of moving over to a 10-point grading scale. This system, which is used by several counties across Virginia and nationwide, is based on The College Board’s grading scale. Here’s how the 10-point system breaks down.

Letter grade Percent grade 4.0 scale
A+ 97-100 4.0
A 93-96 4.0
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3.0
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 73-76 2.0
C- 70-72 1.7
D+ 67-69 1.3
D 65-66 1.0
F Below 65 0.0

Why the change? Proponents of the 10-point grading system argue that the 6- and 7-point systems put kids at a disadvantage when competing with students from cities and counties around the country for scholarships, financial aid, and honors programs. For example, as NBC12 explained out in a recent article, a 91 in a classroom using a 10-point grading scale counts as an A; the other grading systems classify that as a B, leading to a lower GPA.

The 10 point grading scale for Chesterfield County Facebook page spells out the implications of this discrepancy more explicitly, arguing that merit scholarships do not recalculate GPAs based on grading scales, nor do the NCAA (again, potential scholarship dollars) or insurance companies (grades factor into good driver discounts, after all).

If adopted, the new grading scale would go into effect within each school system at the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

The Richmond City, Chesterfield County, and Henrico County School Boards all have plans to discuss this issue further at their respective meetings later this month–should you feel so inclined to observe and/or participate. Chesterfield County’s School Board will meet at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, August 13th at 10001 Iron Bridge Road. Richmond City will meet at 5:30 PM on Monday, August 19th at City Hall, 900 E. Broad Street. Henrico County’s next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 PM on Thursday, August 22nd in the New Bridge Auditorium, 5915 Nine Mile Road.

For more information, check out the links below:

Photo by: Mark Gstohl

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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