Illustration by Madoline Markham and Katey Courtney.
0612 Grading Scale story art
A new grading scale being considered by Mountain Brook Schools would make any grade 90 or above an A.
The Mountain Brook Board of Education is reviewing a proposal to change the current 8-point grading scale to a 10-point grading scale for grades 7-12.
The current 8-point system classifies 92-100 as an A, 80-91 as a B, 70-79 as a C, and 65-69 as a D. The proposed 10-point system classifies 90-100 as an A, 80-89 as a B, 70-79 as a C, 60-69 as a D and 0-59 as an F.
A committee studying the proposed changes released a compilation of grading scale studies on May 30. The school board plans to vote on the decision by the end of June.
In voicing complaints to Superintendent Dicky Barlow, citizens addressed that the 8-point grading system disadvantages a student’s attempt to gain college admission, attain scholarships and be accepted into college honors programs.
A committee of parents and educational staff met with Barlow to discuss the issues and studies that discredited the current grading system and consider new systems.
In considering a change to a 10-point scale in 2003, Mountain Brook Schools concluded that their students were at a disadvantage as compared to other schools yet remained dedicated to the 8-point scale.
The traditional 4.0 GPA system has been implemented in schools close to the area including The Altamont School, Hoover High School, Indian Springs School, Shelby County Schools and Vestavia Hills. The 10-point scale is also recognized in many schools throughout the state including Auburn High School, Austin High School, Bob Jones High School, Decatur High School, Huntsville High School and Opelika High School.
Public universities throughout the state have stated that they prefer the 4.0 GPA scores in order to fully benefit the students. Alabama, Auburn, Furman, and Washington and Lee Universities all said a 10-point grading scale would help in both the admissions and scholarship processing for Mountain Brook students’ admission in a recent survey.
Thirty percent of Mountain Brook High School’s graduating seniors attended University of Alabama in 2011, and 23 percent attended Auburn University.
The committee has asked the Mountain Brook Schools to adjust the grading scale uniformly across the board, making the 10-point range applicable from grades 4 to 12.
For more information on the potential grading scale change, read the document released by the school board.