New Grading System May Be Coming to Your School

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV)-- Staunton city schools might tweak their grading scale, and some parents are concerned.

"I think it is sad, it definitely lowers expectations, I don't feel like it's a good thing. I don't see how it is going to teach them to continue to strive, and continue to try harder when it's just lowering the bar for them," said Betty Pettijohn.

Pettijohn is a mother of three kids, two of which go to Bessie Weller Elementary. She says she always pushes her kids to earn good grades. That's why she's upset to hear the Staunton school board may consider lowering the grading scale.

"I feel like it's going to make it harder on them in long run, because that's not just going to happen in real life. That's not going to happen when they're older and in college 'oh, you didn't do well? oh, okay, we'll lower this...' no'," said Pettijohn.

Currently, grades ranging from a 93 to 100 are considered an 'A'.
Under the proposed 10 point scale, a 90 to 100 would be considered an 'A'. It's a trend that's growing across the commonwealth, most recently in Augusta County.

"They're still going to have expectations in the classroom of what it takes to earn an 'A', so we can't just water the program down to give the child an 'A'. That's not the purpose of this. It's to make sure they're still earning that 'A', but we're lowering the scale a little bit to be consistent with everyone across the state," said Bill Lobb, a member of the Staunton City School Board.

William Lorne is on the Staunton city school board too. He says consistency will make students more competitive when applying to college.

"When 'Johnny' applies to UVA from school 'A' and 'Johnny' applies from school 'B', what they see, what UVA gets, will be the same thing. An 'A' is 90 to 100," said Lobb.

Either way, Pettijohn thinks that lowering the scale doesn't set children up for life after school.

"When you get a boss they're not going to say 'oh you didn't meet the deadline, I'll just lower the deadline. It's important to meet challenges head on and learn how to deal with them," said Pettijohn.

The school board will vote on the changes next month. If the changes are passed, it will be put into effect next school year.


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