State News

NC changes high school grading scale

Posted October 2, 2014

— The State Board of Education on Thursday approved switching to a 10-point range for each letter grade in high schools across North Carolina.

The state currently uses a seven-point scale, meaning an A is 100 to 93, a B is 92 to 85 and so forth, with a grade below 70 earning an F.

The proposed scale would mean 100 to 90 would be an A. A failing grade would be anything below 60.

The new system begins with freshmen in the 2015-16 school year.

The state's largest school districts are pushing for the change, saying it would simplify the system. There are questions about lowering the number for a failing grade.

School officials say the 10-point grading scale could help students with college applications.

For instance, a student in Atlanta who earned a grade of 91 in each of his classes would have a 4.0 GPA. In North Carolina, that same student would have a 3.0 GPA.

Charlotte school Superintendent Heath Morrison said the 10-point scale would lead to more students on the honor roll, higher graduation rates and more students taking Advanced Placement classes.

In a district such as Atlanta, a student who earns a 68 in freshman English would be promoted to the next level. In Charlotte, the student would have to repeat the class, Morrison said, making the student more likely to drop out.

Elementary and middle schools would still be able to use grading scales set by their district school boards. The proposal does recommend that all grades use the 10-point scale.


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  • em00 Oct 3, 2014

    As someone whose kid is applying to colleges right now, the college excuse is ridiculous. The colleges only look at the number grade (93) and not grade point average because of the inconsistent grading scales. Throw in the different ways honors and AP classes are graded and GPA is even more meaningless. It is obviously a way to bump up the graduating rate.

    My question is: if they are starting with the freshman of 2015, does that mean the current high school students will still be on the 7-point scale? So, if there is a sophomore and freshman in the same class and each get 83 on a test, the freshman gets a B and the sophomore gets a C? Or if they both get a 68 in the class, the sophomore has to retake it but the freshman doesn’t? That's harsh.

  • Alexia Proper Oct 2, 2014
    user avatar

    The scale makes no difference. The teachers can make tests as easy or as hard as they want. Personally, I like the 10 point scale since there are 10 digits in our number system. One doesn't have to think very hard what 82 means. Having a 7 point scale was some strange idea that has no practical utility. Though I did appreciate it when I was in school still getting an A if I only missed one question on a pop quiz with 10 questions. But teachers can vary the number of questions to get the same effect as the 7 point scale. Interestingly, nearly all tests in school have some number of questions divisible by 5.

  • InvolvedCitizen Oct 2, 2014

    Great news! It's about time.

  • LetsBeFair Oct 2, 2014

    change ... whats new

  • Jump1 Oct 2, 2014

    Yep school is to hard for people now days had to change so more student could pass, what is bad is anything below 60 is failing what happen to seventy? Charlotte school Superintendent Heath Morrison said the 10-point scale would lead to more students on the honor roll, higher graduation rates and more students taking Advanced Placement classes.
    Yep, lets just lower the standard to be sure everyone passes they do not have to understand just pass the class.

  • As if .... Oct 2, 2014

    My sons Middle school is on a 7 point system. Is that going to change also?

  • imback Oct 2, 2014

    View quoted thread

    So you are saying the current scale makes sense?

  • TheCape Oct 2, 2014

    Why not just use percentages on everything? Its more accurate and can be standardized...

  • Nathan Brewer Oct 2, 2014
    user avatar

    Why do they need letters at all?

  • Linda Kerns Kellogg Oct 2, 2014
    user avatar

    Thank you, it's about time. I grew up with a 10-point scale, and I would suggest that most school districts nationally use a 10-point scale.