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.
Starting this fall, Mountain Brook Schools will replace its 8-point grading scale with a new 10-point grading scale for grades 7-12. The Mountain Brook Board of Education approved the change on June 15.
The new scale will consider any grade 90-100 an A, 80-89 a B, 70-79 a C, 65-69 a D and 65 or below an F.
According to a report by parents and school staff on the Grading Scale committee, the new scale will “level the playing field” for students for college admissions, scholarships and honors programs.
The previous 8-point system classified 92-100 an A, 80-91 a B, 70-79 a C, and 65-69 a D.
“I believe the change in Mountain Brook’s grading scale, now in line with other schools, will result in more undergraduate scholarships being awarded to our students,” said Amy Jackson, the parent of a rising senior, junior and freshman.
“I am relieved that they changed it but do wish it was retroactive for those who are still in school,” said Beth Wilder, the parent of a student in college, one in high school and one in junior high.
The change is also aimed at eliminating the difficult grading transition between grades 6 and 7 by making the grading scale uniform for grades 4-12. When grades 7-12 were on the 8-point system, grades 4-6 followed the 10-point scale where 90-100 was an A.
Also with the new system, the passing grade in grades 4 through 6 will raise from a 60 to a 65 to be consistent with the 65 “passing point” for grades 7-12.
Mountain Brook Schools first considered changing to a 10-point scale in 2003 but decided to keep the existing system at that time.
When the Grading Scale Committee reassessed the situation this year, a survey found that the University of 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.
In addition, the committee found that most schools in the Birmingham area use the 10-point system, including The Altamont School, Hoover High School, Indian Springs School, Shelby County Schools and Vestavia Hills.
Jackson expressed her gratitude to the Mountain Brook Board of Education, Dicky Barlow, the grading scale committee, and all of those who contributed to this study.
“I especially appreciate that parents were allowed to weigh in on the discussion,” she said.
To read the full report of the 2012 Grading Scale Committee Findings, visit mtnbrook.k12.al.us.