Passing grades improve with new grading scale


Liam Ocker, reporter

The grading scale most students know is the 90% to 100%, but what many students do not know is the grading scale they know used to be different, and harder. College applications, GPA, and AP classes were all affected by the grading scale changes in the past. 

The current grading scale has 90% to 100% as an A, 80% to 89% as a B, 70% to 79% as a C, 60% to 69% as a D, and 59% and below is an F. This is the grading scale that most schools in Pennsylvania use. Seventeen states are developing this type of grading scale for public schools. The old grading scale made it harder to get an A. instead of 90%, a student had to have a 93% or higher to get an A. 

While making graders harder to challenge students might seem like a good idea, it might affect a students college application. Most surrounding schools use the current grading and if Big Spring was to switch grading scales the students going to other schools will look like they have higher grades to colleges than Big Springs students. 

Art teacher Micheal McVitty said before the grading scale was changed research was done by Big Spring teachers. The research was done to see how the change would affect a student’s GPA. The results were that a student’s GPA would not have any major changes and the valedictorian and salutatorian would not change either. 

Another factor as to why Big Spring’s grading scale should stay the same is AP classes. Bethany Pagze told reporters that Big Spring offers an abundance of AP course for students to challenge them. AP classes work with the current grading scale but the old grading scale would make them more challenging and stressful. Pagze also added that AP courses already challenging enough, adding a harder grading scale would just cause more stress for students. 

Jocelyn Kraus was on a committee that researched the grading scale when making the change from the old to new grading scale. Kraus said the biggest change with the grading scale was there was a much higher passing rate than the old grading scale. The old grading scale had anything below 70% was failing. After the new grading system was implemented the number of students failing decreased immensely. On the other end, students who were passing in the old grading scale were competitive in an intense and unhealthy way. This also decreased with the new grading system. The new grading system is giving students more opportunities to pass. 

The old grading scale did have some benefits to it. This grading scale challenged students and make it harder to get perfect or close to perfect grades. Business teacher Cherie Powell mentioned that the new grading scale was also changed with the intent to make the grading scale harder. This goal for the new grading scale was not achieved; the old grading scale was harder than the new one. 

Being on the same grading scale as other schools give students an even playing field when applying to college. GPA and valedictorian were generally unaffected by the grading scale. AP classes are already stressful enough and a harder grading scale would make the classes even more stressful. More students are passing and students are less competitive. The old grading scale does challenge students more. The benefits of the current grading scale clearly out way the benefits of the old meaning Big Spring should keep their current grading scale.