Lancaster County School District

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Frequently asked questions on grading-scale change

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• Why are we changing to the 10-point Grading Scale?
     South Carolina was one of only two states in the Southeast that did not use the 10-Point Grading Scale, putting South Carolina students at a big disadvantage as they compete for college admissions, scholarships and awards.
     That’s why the State Board of Education voted unanimously in April to approve a policy requiring all high schools to use a 10-point grading scale beginning with the 2016-17 academic year.
     “For me, it was to be fair to our students in South Carolina,” state education superintendent Molly Spearman said after the state board meeting. “We’ve heard from hundreds of parents and students and teachers saying that we needed to level the playing field.”

• When will we begin using the 10-point Grading Scale?
     Beginning in August 2016, our schools will use a 10-point grading scale for Grades 2-12. The 10-point scale will replace the seven point grading scale we have used.
     We’ll use the 10-point scale for Grades 2-12 to ensure a smooth transition for students as they move from elementary and middle school.

• How does the 10-point Grading Scale compare?

Old Grading Scale               New 10-point Grading Scale
Current scale               Starting August 2016
Grades 2-12               Grades 2-12
A 93-100               A 90-100
B 85-92               B 80-89
C 77-84               C 70-79
D 70-76               D 60-69
F Below 70               F Below 60

     Kindergarten and first grade students will receive a standards-based report card showing a student’s progress on the curriculum standards.

• Is this new grading scale retroactive?
     The new grading scale is not retroactive. It goes into effect for the 2016-17 school year and only affects a student’s GPA on courses taken after 2015-16.
     We will not go back in time and adjust GPAs before the 2016-17 school year.
Since class rankings have an impact on scholarship opportunities, it is not possible to make the grading scale retroactive. Changing grading scales retroactive would change the class rank of students.

• How will this change affect students already in high school?
     All GPAs earned under the previous 7-point scale will be locked down August 15, 2016.
     Depending on where a student is in high school, they will spend one, two, three or four years under the new 10-point scale.
For example,
     –     a rising senior will have one year under the 10-point scale and three with the 7-point scale;
     –     a rising junior will have two years under each;
     –     a rising sophomore will have three years under the 10-point scale and one using the 7-point scale; and
     –     an incoming freshman will have all four years in their transcript with the 10-point scale.
     This process will be fair to students because quality points across grades will be assigned and locked. The quality point system converts all grades to the same scale so they can be compared fairly.

• How are grades earned under each point scale calculated?
     A student’s final transcript will average all the quality points and divide that by the number of credits attempted.
     Therefore, the credits on the 7-point scale will be averaged with the credits and quality points earned on the 10-point scale.

• What are the scales used to convert grades to quality points?
     7-point grading scale conversion chart (Click here)

     10-point grading scale conversion chart (Click here)

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Frequently asked questions on grading-scale change”

  1. Matt Klepeis on May 27th, 2016 9:36 am

    I understand wanting to be on the same playing field as the other states, but it feels like we are lowering our standards.

    [Reply]

  2. mark denise on June 3rd, 2016 7:10 pm

    While I am glad to see the state embrace the 10 point scale (finally) we are still providing a disservice to all currently enrolled students in South Carolina by not making this point scale change retroactive. Here’s why, any student currently enrolled in school in SC will bear the brunt of latent adoption and “status quo” attitudes toward education by our state board of education. They will bear the brunt of a less than progressive education policy and have blended grades which puts them at a competitive disadvantage forever. The excuse that making grades retroactive will affect rankings is invalid. When you normalize every students grades the same way to be on par with the rest of the country the class rankings will stay the same within each individual grade levels academic standings.

    We should not allow the state board of education to further degrade the value of education in the state of South Carolina. The most logical approach needs to be normalizing grades for every active student that would receive a blended ranking and put each and every grade they have received in their academic career on the ten point scale.

    [Reply]

  3. omariana white on July 6th, 2016 5:36 pm

    I love love love this 10 point grading scale idea. i totally love it. this will help me a whole lot. I’m going to be in the eight grade this year and I’m going to need all the help I can get. Also I want to be an all A honor roll student this year. I’m looking for to the new 10 point grading scale.

    [Reply]

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Lancaster County School District
Frequently asked questions on grading-scale change