Wake County Schools

Petition: Put all high school students on 10-point scale

Posted October 29, 2014

One high school freshman is determined to change how the new grading scale will be implemented in public schools next year.

Parker Renberg, a freshman at Leesville Road High School in Wake County, says he’s upset that the grading scale changes will not affect him or any other current high school student.

Instead, it’ll begin with next year’s freshman class. They’ll be graded on a 10-point scale, instead of a 7-point scale. That means an A will be a 90-to-100 instead of 93-to-100.

“They could give it to current students, but they’re not. So it almost feels like we’re being robbed,” said Renberg, who wants to either study biomedical engineering or architecture.

He argues that it is not fair that he could be in the same class as a freshman, they could both get 92s, but he would get a B while the other student would get an A.

“That would be pretty frustrating,” he said.

Renberg has started an online petition to present to the state, which has already garnered hundreds of signatures.

State officials say they have no plans to make revisions to how the changes are rolled out, but acknowledge that some teachers could decide to evaluate all students under the new scale to make grading more manageable. Officials say that phasing in the new scale will make sure that class rankings stay consistent and fair.

New scale based on 10-point increments

The 7-point scale means that a score between 93 and 100 is an A, 85-to-92 is a B, and so on.

Under the new scale, an A will be 90-to-100, and an 80 will be the lowest B. Scores below 60 will be considered failing.

Some of the state's largest school districts were pushing for the change, arguing that it would level the playing field. They said that students living in states with 10-point scales are at an advantage when applying to colleges. Only four states require school districts to adopt a 7-point scale.

One North Carolina student felt so strongly about the issue that he wrote legislation this year, trying to convince lawmakers to move away from the 7-point scale.

Rebecca Garland, the state’s chief academic officer, has said, “there is no easy way to transition.” But she commends the board for making the move.

Student transcripts will include both number grades and letter grades.

This report first appeared on WUNC/North Carolina Public Radio as part of their education coverage.

Reema Khrais is the 2014 Fletcher Fellow focused on Education Policy Reporting. The Fletcher Fellowship is a partnership between WUNC and UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication funded in part by the Fletcher Foundation.


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  • Fanny Chmelar Oct 30, 2014
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    LOL, evidently I didn't have a very high GPA in school :) I meant that we should drop the letters completely and keep it numeric. Grade * credit hours / number of courses taken / sum of credit hours.

  • jnc67 Oct 29, 2014

    Why must we assign a letter anyway? Why not just put the actual number on the report card?

  • DurhamDevil Oct 29, 2014

    The only thing this will accomplish is further inflate GPA's and allow a passing grade for performing 10 points lower.

    Not only are we making graduating from high school easier, we are making our students dumber.

  • wdc1987 Oct 29, 2014

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    Yea! Why should we make progress when I had to "survive" it? Why should everyone get vaccinated, we didn't use to have vaccines and they had to "survive" it and so should you!

  • Joe Crain Oct 29, 2014
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    Ok, look at it this way. Day he and the other kid both made a 69. He failed the course, the other kid passed. So, he has to retake...the other kid does not.

  • Deb Rodgers Oct 29, 2014
    user avatar

    This has been the grading scale in NC for years. My children had to "survive" it so should you!

  • lessismore Oct 29, 2014

    The grading scw is irrelevant....all scales do the same thing....shows a students knowledge. Whether it is ABCDF...or 1 - 10......it's l the same. But some believe one is better than the other.... not so.

  • Travis Upchurch Oct 29, 2014
    user avatar

    How much lower are you all willing to lower the standards to get everybody to pass!! The leaders of our schools are failing our kids!!!

  • jonara Oct 29, 2014

    Long overdue.

  • itsnotmeiswear Oct 29, 2014

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    The students primarily being hurt by this are not on the lower end of the scale. The biggest effect comes on the upper end of the scale when colleges start comparing NC student GPA's to student GPA's from other states for admission and scholarship opportunities. My daughter will probably be able to go to her school of choice based on her grades and test scores, but her GPA would be even better on a 10-point scale because she had a couple of classes where she received a 91 or 92 and got the B. Those B's might be the difference in her or someone else receiving a scholarship for her efforts.