Grade scale changes bring differing views

New grade scale provides security blanket

LINDSAY RICE – Hoof Prints Staff

Two years ago, there was a major change in the grade point average scale. The scale has been “blanketed.” This means that one receives a single point for a letter grade, instead of so many points for a certain number. With the new scale, it doesn’t matter the number grade when figuring the grade point average because there are no pluses or minuses. This is due to the fact that only whole numbers are used now. An “A” is worth four points, a “B” is worth three points, a “C” is worth two points, a “D” is worth one point and as always an “F” is worth no points.

To some, this new scale may seem unfair. In my opinion, it’s better. This scale allows one to get as many points possible for their work. This gives those who try hard and make any sort of “A”, whether it’s a 97 or a 90, four points for that class. But at the same time, one wouldn’t want to slack off. Now, a student can’t say, “Oh as long as I have a “C+” plus, I’ll be fine.” This is due to the fact that they don’t exist. Not to mention, he or she can no longer use the excuse that almost the same amount of points given for a “B” is given for a “C+”.  There is now a huge difference between the two – a whole number, to be exact.

If you’re like me, you like to figure your GPA every once in a while to see how you’re doing. With the blanketed scale, this is so much easier. Instead of having to remember all the different points for all the different numbers, one just has to know what letter grade he or she has. Now it takes maybe two minutes with a calculator to figure one’s GPA, which can definitely help when filling out college applications or looking at the criteria for a scholarship.

I believe this new GPA scale has been an improvement. It makes kids work harder and makes it easier to figure one’s grades.

Traditional grading scale encouraged motivated students

MADISON FINCH – Hoof Prints Staff

Until last year, our school used a traditional grading scale. A 95-100% was an A, a 90-94% was an A-, an 88-89% was a B+, an 83-87 was a B, etc. Recently, the state has went through a change. Now, a 90-100% is an A, and 80-89% is a B. Obviously, this leaves more room for error.

Before, one had to make all A’s for a 4.0 grade point average. An A- would bring one’s GPA down. If one makes all A’s (90-100%), that student will receive a 4.0. To some students, this seems better.  It is now much easier to earn a 4.0. Although it is easier, I don’t believe it is better.

With the traditional scale, students had to work harder to receive their goal grade. This new grading scale gives them the opportunity to slack-off to some extent. Instead of aiming for a 95, one might just work for a 90.

This new scale also confuses students who were in high school when this scale changed. It isn’t fair to those who are competing for valedictorian and salutatorian. A senior this year might have a 4.0, but because they had an A- as a freshman or sophomore, they won’t have a perfect grade for their transcript. Since this was changed in the middle of some students’ high school years, I believe our district should have changed the grades that were given to the high school students before the scale was changed. This would make the grades equal to how they are now.

To me, this new scale is unfair to all seniors. Many students will have the same GPA. It will be much harder to determine ranks in each class; the administration will have to review past transcripts from the students. The valedictorian and salutatorian could possibly be based on students’ freshman and sophomore years. I believe this is just creating more problems for our school.

Of course this gives students a better GPA in most cases, but it defeats the purpose of competing academically. Many more students will be equal in grades. BIC is known for its academic excellence and this is only taking away from our good name.

The grading scale is not helping any students prepare for their future. In life, there isn’t an easy way out. I feel that this is what this grading scale is giving students.

I can see how some students feel favorably to this change, but I believe the traditional grading system was more beneficial to our district.