Recently, the North Carolina Department of Public Education approved the change to a 10 point grading scale for public high schools. This came as a result of many attempts by the Mecklenburg and Wake County Schools, amongst others, to get this new scale passed. The new grading scale is needed, and it is only logical considering that more than 75% of other states use it.
However, we, The Mycenaean, see a problem: Next year, the system won’t be applied to our sophomores, juniors and seniors. The State School Board decided that, instead of applying the new scale to all students next year, they would only apply it to the incoming freshmen class. They claimed it would be simpler. But we would argue that they are only creating a bigger problem.
Not only is it creating mass discontent from the other 75% of students at schools who won’t receive the new grading scale, you are forcing teachers to use two different grading scales for classes which hold students from different grade levels.
Take Sports and Entertainment Marketing for example, a popular class at Leesville. Students from any grade level (9-12) can enroll. With the new grading scale implemented for only the freshmen class next year, a teacher will have the dilemma of administering the same grade to two students, but because of the new scale, a “90” could be an “A” for a freshman and a “B” for a sophomore.
The first question is, how will PowerSchool, the online system for grades in North Carolina, handle that inconsistency in the system? We (upperclassmen) could have 91’s in Sports and Entertainment Marketing I and be earning a “B”, while a freshman could have that same grade and be earning an “A”. We don’t find this acceptable.
Secondly, just think about the moral issue the teachers will have to face. Is it moral to put the same grade on two papers but give one a different letter grade than the other? That is something teachers will undoubtedly have to face if the current implementation process stays the same.
We find it frustrating. Students work hard to earn their grade. In return, they should be rewarded equally for their work. We could work just as hard as another student yet earn the same numerical grade and receive two different alphabetical grades. This encourages two different work rates: One of which isn’t as strenuous as the other because they don’t have to achieve as high of a numerical grade to receive an “A” or a “B”.
Whether you want to debate it morally, logically or equitably, it doesn’t make sense. Our board members must go all in or all out for this transition to be successful. To the school system and education powers that be in North Carolina: Why drag the transition out for four years and not just do it now? The Mycenaean would like change. We want the possibility of receiving different letter grades than freshmen when our numerical grade could be the same to be eliminated. It’s not equitable and the school board is simply making a big change more difficult that it already is. With that said, use logic and hurry the process along by implementing the scale for every class, not just the freshman.