JCPS board to vote Monday on changing grading scale for 2015-16 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS board to vote Monday on changing grading scale for 2015-16 year

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A proposal that would change the grading scale for students in Jefferson County Public Schools and "level the playing field" with students in other districts in the state will be up for school board approval on Monday.

The proposal, which changes the cutoff for an A from 90-100 percent, while a B would drop to 80 to 89 percent, a C 75-79 percent, a D 70 to 74 percent and the score for a U as anything below 70 percent -- will be up for discussion during a 4;30 p.m. work session and then up for approval during the 7 p.m. meeting.

The change would take effect for the 2015-16 year, the proposal states.

District officials say the change takes into account the "more rigorous content standards" and "supports equal opportunity for and levels the playing field for JCPS students as compared to students in other districts using 90-100 and 80-89 to earn scholarships and receive jobs."

"We have been researching this possible change for the past two weeks and seeking input from stakeholders and staff," said Karen Branham, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. "The true goal of the recommendation is to do what is best for our students in JCPS."

School board member Chris Brady, who has repeatedly asked the district to look into changing the grading scale, said Friday he was unaware of the proposal until he was told about it by WDRB News. 

"I am pleasantly surprised," Brady said. "However, I would still like to have a conversation about the pros vs. cons of changing the grading scale -- that is what I have always asked for and we haven't really done that. That being said, I am pleased because I think this will level the playing field and give our students equal access to scholarship opportunities that allow them to further their education." 

In February, JCPS sent a survey to parents indicating that a revised grading scale would help students compete for Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (state scholarship) money. 

The results of the survey showed that 85 percent of elementary respondents -- which includes principals, assistant principals, teachers, staff members and parents -- were in support in of the change. At the middle school level, 84 percent were in support of the changes, while 91 percent of stakeholders at the high school level were in support of it.

Four of the five counties -- Bullitt, Oldham, Spencer and Shelby -- surrounding Jefferson County are roughly using the same scale as the one being proposed for approval. 

The district's current scale states that a student who scores a 93 to 100 percent earns an A, while a B is the equivalent of 86 to 92 percent, a C equals 79 to 85 percent and a D is 70 to 78 percent, while a U is anything below 70 percent.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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