During a recent School Board meeting parents spoke up about the grading scale for Roanoke County. Parents are asking the school board to vote to change the grading scale from its current seven point grading scale to a 10 point grading scale. It is argued that students are currently at a disadvantage when applying to colleges, because many school are not aware of the difference in the grading scale for Roanoke County and that by changing the scale, students will have more options for higher education.
It was also brought up that by changing the grading scale for Roanoke County Public Schools, it will then be in line with the grading scales at area colleges and that will help with admissions and scholarships in schools.
Roanoke County Education Association President Tammy Wood said that the association polled the division’s teachers and found that 72 percent of them were in favor of the ten point scale.
According to parent Tara Nepper, who has two children in RCPS, there is not one fix for student success, but it would allow a level field of success.
“It would not dumb down our school system,” she said. “It would reward them for their hard work. Currently, students do not get equal rating because colleges don’t go by a number but by a letter grade.
Parent of a Cave Spring High School student, Ken Flint said that this is an issue of fairness.
“What happens to students who have three years on one scale and one year with the different grading scale?” he asked.
According to Abby Smith, 70 percent of schools do not take the grading scale into consideration when looking over applications for students from our area. Some argue that schools like Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia are fully aware that RCPS’s grading scale is tougher than other schools. But Smith says that further out of state, the more selective the school, that they do not look at it. She also said that 98 percent of schools considered the 10-point scale the norm. Even the Roanoke Governor’s School is on a 10-point scale she said.
“Our students are at a disadvantage,” she said. “In the matters of merit money, a tenth of a point determine if they get the money or not. In Virgina, they may know our scale, but other schools don’t.”
Gina French said she moved her and her two girls to Cave Spring High from L.A. County and one of them went from being an “A” student to a “B” student.
The School Board is supposed to vote on it this month. Their next meeting will be held on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at 5937 Cove Road.