State Lawmakers Considering Change to School Grading Scales Making It To ‘Pass’ Failing Students

RALEIGH – If you not enough people are meeting their goal, just move the goal posts closer. At least that seems to be the thinking behind efforts in the N.C. General Assembly to drastically drop the minimum grades students must attain in order to ‘Pass.’

As it stands now, in North Carolina schools, anything less than a 60 percent is a failing grade. Lawmakers pushing House Bill 145 want to drop that threshold for schools all the way down to 40 percent.

“For all schools, the total school performance score shall be converted to a 100-point scale and used to determine an overall school performance grade. The overall school performance grade shall be based on the following scale and shall not be modified to add any other designation related to other performance measures, such as a ‘plus’ or ‘minus.'”

The new scale would be:

  • A: 100 to 85 percent  
  • B: 84 to 70 percent   
  • C: 69 to 55 percent    
  • D: 54 to 40 percent
  • F: Anything below 40 percent

There are plenty of schools that end up passing kids that can barely read as it is, so what’s going to happen when you reduce the minimum school scores by 20 points? Imagine a school getting a ‘passing grade’ from the State when 60 percent of its students are failing.

Most of us have known of schools that pass kids merely by social promotion, in an attempt to keep their ‘scores’ up regardless if the students in question are truly learning and progressing. What kind of message are we sending kids if schools that have a 60 percent fail rate can still be viewed as satisfactory by the State?


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