Frequently asked questions on grading-scale change

Frequently asked questions on grading-scale change

• 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)