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MADISON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Grade Scale Review Committee Final Report
January 2010

Grade Scale Review Committee Background The MCPS Grade Scale Review Committee was formed in the spring of 2009 at the request of Dr. Brenda Tanner, Superintendent of Schools. The Committee came together as a response to parental concerns about the current grade scale in use in MCPS and in light of changes to the grade scales in both Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. The concern raised was that the grade scale used in MCPS results in unfair comparisons between the MCPS students and students in other districts who use what could be considered a less stringent scale. MCPS currently uses a mostly seven‐point scale, whereas districts like Albemarle and Fairfax use a mostly ten‐ point scale. Essentially, the concern was that in some cases students in MCPS could be unfairly compared to a student in a district that uses a ten‐point scale. For example, if Student A from MCPS and Student B from Fairfax both earned grades of 92 they would equate differently in terms of GPA (MCPS=B+ and Fairfax=A‐). If these students were compared for something like college admissions the MCPS student could be viewed as weaker in terms of GPA even though the percentage grade is the same. At first glance, the decision to change to a ten‐point grading scale seems simple. However, the issue is much more complex than simply comparing scales of surrounding districts and choosing the one that fits Madison. A change in scale could enhance the possibilities for MCHS students. It is important that MCPS provide students with an accurate picture of their performance based on federal, state, and local standards. To be sure that this is done, it is important to understand all the facts surrounding our current grade scale, other…...

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