(Posted April 10, 2014)
By Amanda Amsel, Staff Writer
Starting next school year, London City Schools will follow a new grading scale.
On April 8, the school board voted 4-1 to replace the current seven-point scale with a 10-point scale. Dr. Martha Geib cast the lone “no” vote.
“We had a large committee that met for a year and half about this topic,” said Tom Ben, superintendent. “The committee decided that this was the best decision for students and would level the playing field for them when applying for scholarships and college.”
Currently, students who score a 93 to 100 percent receive an A. With the new scale, students will receive an A if they score 90 to 100 percent. The 10-point range continues through grades B through F. Minuses and plusses will only apply to high school level courses.
The change will affect students in grades three though 12. Students in preschool through second grade do not receive letter grades.
“Other school districts in the area follow a 10-point grading scale, so we felt the seven point scale disadvantaged our students,” Ben said. “The committee also looked statewide and found that a large number of schools in the state also follow the 10-point scale.”
Among area school districts using a 10-point scale are Madison-Plains, Hilliard, Dublin and Worthington.
The main reason for the change is that grade point average (GPA) often is a deciding factor when students vie for scholarships and college admission. Officials making those selections don’t always take into account the differences in grading scales from high school to high school.
“It used to be that the ACT score was factored into those decisions, but now the GPA is what is really examined,” Ben said. “We wanted to level the playing field and give our students a fair opportunity.”
The recommendation to switch to a 10-point scale came from a committee comprised of students, parents, teachers and administrators.
“The committee looked at all possible scenarios of this recommendation before they presented it to the board,” said Gayle Reidenbach, director of curriculum assessment and instruction at London. “One thing they looked at was if this would dilute a student’s GPA and, based on the research, it will absolutely not. “
Reidenbach said that parents especially were pleased with the new grading scale and thought it would be fairer to their children.
The committee held a community forum to get feedback from residents about the proposed change prior to the April school board meeting.