IW studies grading scale

Published 7:34 pm Monday, August 16, 2010

The Isle of Wight County School Board has agreed to begin a study of the school district’s grading scale.

The committee is to report its findings to the board by its December meeting.

During a meeting of the Isle of Wight School Board last week, parent Judy Morin presented the board with a petition containing more than 600 signatures asking the school system to convert to a 10-point grading scale. Currently, a grade of 94 to 100 is an A; 86 to 93 is a B; 78-85 is a C; and 70-77 is a D.

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“We found no shortage of people willing to put their names on the paper,” Morin said.

Parent Chuck Dunlap also asked the board to make a 10-point scale effective for the upcoming school year.

“The research has been done. The evidence is compelling. The trend is clear,” Dunlap said. “You don’t need another study to confirm all of the other studies.”

A number of parents have voiced their support of a 10-point scale at recent School Board meetings.

“I don’t think we, as a board, can ignore what we have heard,” said School Board Chairman David Goodrich, who represents the Smithfield District. He said he wanted the committee to produce a “data-driven” study using Isle of Wight, state and national data.

Several board members said Thursday they didn’t know whether or not they would support a 10-point scale.

“Right now, I don’t know which way I would go if it came to a vote,” said Newport District representative Dr. George Bradby.

Goodrich said he didn’t want to “debate the merits of any grading scale” during Thursday’s meeting.

“That time will come,” he said. “I am not asking anybody to make up their minds, because I think an informed decision is a decision that comes about by having the data before you.”