Beginning in school year 2015-16, middle and high school students will be graded under a new 10-point grading scale. Here's a quick guide to the changes in addition to some frequently asked questions, below.
Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish)
What will the new grading scale be for students in grades 6– 12 and when will it go into effect?
Effective 2015-16, a new NC State Board of Education policy requires that all school districts in North Carolina use one standardized 10-point grading scale in high school. To maintain consistency with middle and high school students, Durham Public School’s Board of Education approved the adoption of the 10 point scale to include students in grades 6 – 8. Grades from prior years will not be altered retroactively. Under the new scale, grades and quality point calculations will be applied as follows:
A: 90-100 = 4.0
B: 80-89 = 3.0
C: 70-79 = 2.0
D: 60-69 = 1.0
F: < 59 = 0.0
Why did the State Board change the high school grading scale to a 10-point scale? How will this change benefit my child?
For several years, the NC State Board of Education has been petitioned by students, parents, and superintendents to require a statewide standard 10-point grading scale for all high school students. Those advocating for this change in state policy noted that North Carolina school districts differed in their grading scales. The transition to a state wide standard 10-point scale will help students who move from one district to another. In addition, this change places North Carolina students in a more competitive position as they apply for admission to out-of-state colleges and universities as the majority of states use a
Will the new 10-point grading scale affect instruction?
The change in grading scale will not affect the quality of instruction that students receive in their classes. Teachers will continue to maintain rigor and levels of mastery at every grade level.
With the adoption of the new grading scale, will grades be reported differently on report cards and transcripts?
Students in grades 6 -12 will continue to receive numeric grades on their report cards and transcripts.
What are the new quality point weights as outlined by the NC State Board of Education?
The new quality point weighting system only affects first time ninth graders in the fall of 2015-16 and then all students entering high school after the 2015-16 academic year. The new quality point weights will provide incoming freshmen with an additional .5 quality point for Honors courses and 1.0 quality point for Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, community college courses, or four-year university or college courses taken in high school. This statewide change does NOT affect students who will be in grades 10, 11, or 12 or freshmen who were retained in 2015-2016. These students will continue to earn an additional 1.0 quality point for Honors courses, community college courses, or four-year university or college courses taken in high school and an additional 2.0 quality points for Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) courses for the remaining years of their high school careers.
Why did the State Board change the quality point standards?
The new standards are the outcome of a study directed by the NC General Assembly and subsequent actions by the UNC Board of Governors and the State Board of Community Colleges. The changes in quality points better align North Carolina students with those around the nation.
What equity exists when a senior earns an A in an Advanced Placement (AP) class and receives two additional quality points, but a freshman who earns an A in that same Advanced Placement (AP) class only receives one additional quality point?
Each grade level is only competing with the other students that entered ninth grade in the same year for class rank, scholarships, and college acceptance.
What process will be used to determine class rank?
Quality points (weighted or unweighted) and grades are the only factors used to calculate grade point average values and class rank. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 116-11 (10a), grade point average values and class rank must be calculated by a standard method devised by the University of North Carolina and NC Community College systems.
Will valedictorian and salutatorian continue to be recognized?
Individual schools will continue determining valedictorian and salutatorian. Call your child’s school for more information.