Waynesboro Schools Consider Switching to 10-Point Grading Scale

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School divisions across Virginia are shifting toward 10-point grading scales. After months of discussion and research, Waynesboro school leaders are considering the shift too - but it’s led to some contention, which boiled over Tuesday night. 

Things got heated during Waynesboro School Board's meeting Tuesday night.  While most school leaders and members of the community support getting on the same page of other neighboring districts, some say it will do a disservice to students in the long run.

Director of instruction Sue Wright wants to shift from a six-point grading scale to a 10-point one.

"It's hard when you're 16 and you made a 93 and that's a 'B' and your friend in another district that's an 'A.' That didn't set well with our students, and I understand that,” said Wright.

Augusta County already uses the 10-point system, which means a 90 is an "A-" but some say the consequences aren't worth it.

"The detriments are a definite slide in academic standards which may affect students in the future. They just aren't going to have to do the level of work after the change is made to get the same grade that they are making now,” said Jeremy Taylor, school board member.

Some school board members approached the subject with trepidation.

"I don't think that the mere fact that everybody else is doing it is a good enough argument to accept it, because other people can be wrong about it,” said Taylor.

But Wright says the current system hurts students when they compete for scholarships, college admissions, and employment.

"Grading scale policy is not going to lower standards in the classroom. I think the Virginia Standards of Learning sets a high standard anyway, so we'll stay with those high standards,” said Wright.

If the policy changes, it would go into effect in the upcoming academic year. The school board has the final say on the grading scale. Members expect to vote on this at the meeting next month.

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