New grading scale?

Published 11:27 pm Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thursday night the school broad discussed Suffolk’s grade point system to address the concerns of Suffolk student parents.

“The main argument is that colleges and universities don’t know the difference between a seven point and ten point scale,” said Superintendent Milton Liverman. “Studies that Virginia Beach conducted, however, show that universities are aware of the difference.”

Suffolk schools are on a seven point system, while most colleges and universities grade on a 10 point scale.

Email newsletter signup

The concern for many parents is that their children are being short-changed.

An ‘A’ on a seven point system is between a 94 percent and 100 percent. An ‘A’ on a 10 point scale is between a 90 percent and 100 percent. The difference is three points.

Board members said they will not change the grade point system if it constitutes lowering the standard for students.

“People do whatever is required of them,” said board member Enoch Copeland. “If we’re lowering the standard, I’m not willing to lower it.”

The board did discuss possibly adopting a system similar to Virginia Beach’s system, which recently inserting intermediate values in the existing system.

Currently in Suffolk, students with a 93 percent receive a ‘B’ – the same letter grade as a student with an 86 percent. Under Virginia Beach’s new system, a student with a 93 percent receives a ‘B+’ and a student with an 86 percent will receive a ‘B-.’

“The difference is a student receiving a 3.5 instead of a 3.0,” Liverman said.

Phyllis Byrum said it’d be a good idea to use Virginia Beach’s research as a good starting point.

“I think we’re going to change the system, an option like Virginia Beach’s would be a good idea,” Liverman said.