Range considers change in grading scale

BEAVER TOWNSHIP — The South Range school board is considering a change to the grading scale and class rank.

Schools Superintendent Dennis Dunham this past week presented the board with policy changes to consider for the May meeting that would establish a plus-minus grading scale and a laude class ranking.

Dunham said a 16-member team including administrators, teachers, residents, parents and board members have been meeting the past three months to determine whether to change the grading scale from the current bell curve (94 to 100 an A, 85 to 93 a B, 74 to 84 a C, 65 to 73 a D and 64 and under an F) to a plus-minus scale of 10 points each grade. The grading scale would be 94 to 100 an A, 90 to 93 an A-minus, 87 to 89 a B-plus, 83 to 86 a B, 80 to 82 a B-minus and so on. The change would result in a two percent difference for a B, one percent for a C and two percent for a D.

Dunham said the new scale offers flexibility while still retaining the rigor of the current scale.

The new class rank would replace the valedictorian and salutatorian with the rankings of cum laude (3.5 to 3.699), magna cum laude (3.7 to 3.899) and summa cum laude (3.9 and over). Students would have to meet specific requirements to obtain an honors diploma.

If approved the grading scale would take effect the 2019-2020 school year while the class ranking would take effect with the current freshman class, Dunham said.

According to Dunham, the grading scale was addressed due to concerns the current scale is negatively affecting students regarding scholarship opportunities.

Board member Taylor Christian said there is a certain amount of rigor with the 94 point grading scale, but that the proposed scale gives students an incentive to strive for a better grade.

“A student who is solidly at a B will have something more to work toward,” he said.

khowell@salemnews.net

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