GB Schools may change grading scale


GREEN BAY- When it comes to grading at area schools, it's not always as easy as A-B-C.

What's considered an "A" at one school might be considered a "B" at another.

And that has Green Bay Area Schools re-evaluating their grading standards.

Green Bay district leaders say they are trying to level the playing field for students.

Monday, they laid out their plans to make changes.
Parents, students and teachers who formed a grading scale task force shared their vision for a new scale.

"What struck me as odd was that we were misaligned with other districts and the UW system,” said Jerrod Valley, a science teacher at Preble High School who spearheaded the taskforce.

Currently, the grading scale in the district is as follows:
A: 93-100
B: 86-92
C: 77-85
D: 70-76
F: 69 or lower.

Other districts in the area, such as Howard-Suamico, De Pere Unified, and Appleton Area School Districts, have a grading scale as follows:
A: 93-100
A-: 92-90
B+: 89-87
B: 86-83
B-: 82-80
F: 59 or lower.

Here's how the difference makes an impact. Meet Johnny. He attends school in Green Bay. This is Susie. She attends school in Appleton. Both Johnny and Susie take geometry. Both score a 92 percent. But with the grading scale, Johnny receives a B, while Susie receives an A-minus. And that means a difference in their grade point averages.

β€œIt is a bit unforgiving because if you get a 92 percent, you drop a full grade point," said Grace Adler, a parent on the task force.

Students on the task force say this will make them more competitive against their peers for scholarships.

"When you're on border between a 3.9 and 3.8, that can be the difference between one thousand or a couple hundred dollars,” said Mitch McMahon, a student at Southwest High School who was on the task force.

Staff says they adopted the current grading scale in the mid 90's to set higher standards.

But teachers say just because the "A" range has been expanded a few points, doesn't mean high grades will come any easier.

"The rigor is not determined by the grading scale. It is determined by the teachers themselves,” said Valley.

The school board could take up the issue at its meeting next Monday. If approved, the new grading scale would take effect in the fall. The changes would not be applied to grades from previous years.