Greendale alters grading scale to match other schools

Published on: 9/22/2009

Keeping with the theme of leveling the playing field, the Greendale School Board on Monday approved changes to the high school grading scale.

Regular high school classes are now graded on a 10-point scale as opposed to the eight-point scale previously in place. An A in a course would mean students' final grade must be between 90 and 100, a B between 80 and 89, and so on.

The decision came a month after the board voted to eliminate class rank, largely on the basis it puts students at a competitive disadvantage when applying to colleges.

'In the simplest terms, we are attempting to level the playing field for Greendale High School students when college admissions officers and scholarship committees consider our students for post-secondary opportunities,' Principal Steve Lodes wrote in a report to School Board members.

The grading scale change came after considerable research, including surveys and listening sessions for parents, students and staff, Lodes said.

The district also looked at comparable schools in the area and found many were using the 10-point scale. The adjustment now makes it consistent for Greendale students as they compete with other high schools for the same admissions and scholarships, Lodes said.

The 10-point scale was already in place for Advanced Placement courses as a way to encourage students to take those classes. That has led to some concern that fewer students would take AP offerings, according to the report.

Officials said there was also some concern that students might change their effort based on the new grading scale.

The School Board approved the measure unanimously. Board members in the August meeting supported the grading scale change, but no official vote could be taken because it was not properly placed on the agenda.

School administrators had to implement the new scale in time for the start of the school year. The board's vote on Monday finalized the process.