By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District will switch to a 10-point grading scale for all of its K-12 schools next year.
The district’s School Board approved the change at its meeting on Tuesday night. It has been studying it for more than a year.
Assistant Superintendent Diana Ezell said a big reason for the new scale was to help Tupelo students competing for scholarships against those from districts with 10-point scales. According to research by Tupelo High Principal Jason Harris last year, 70 percent of Mississippi school districts use 10-point scales.
Ezell said the change also will help more students earn discounts from car insurance companies for good grades.
“We made the change after much thought and research into what other school districts around the country were doing as far as grading scales,” Ezell said. “This scale seemed to be the best choice for our students.
“It gives us a competitive edge with other schools as far as academic and athletic scholarships.”
The district was using a seven-point grading scale for third to 12th grade, with a 93 to 100 denoting an “A.” K-2 students were graded “excellent,” “satisfactory,” “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory.”
The new scale will be modified so anything below a 65, rather than a 60, will receive an “F.”
Ezell and Harris said the change also is significant for athletes trying to meet eligibility requirements to play college sports. They said the grading scale will not change classroom rigor.
“Standards are set in classrooms by teachers,” Harris said. “Grades don’t determine the standards taught.”
Ezell said the district decided to make the change at all grade levels to ensure consistency.