Recently one of the school’s biology teachers switched from the ten-point grading scale used school-wise to a seven-point grading scale. Due to this switch, students will
experience a variety of negative consequences. By enacting such a change, students will suffer from frustration that their efforts do not yield the results they would like, a grading scale not used by the majority of schools, and lower GPAs.
To begin with, students would endure frustration when their efforts and studying habits result in a lower letter grade than they previously would have received for the same amount of effort. I myself have seen such a thing occur when my friend Emma transferred from a school that utilized a ten-point grading scale to one that used a seven-point grading scale. She no longer received all As as she had in the past and became increasing frustrated with school as she could no longer achieve what she previously could. According to the Woodside Learning Center, “hard working students often feel frustrated when they realize that their efforts would earn a better letter grade if only they attended a different school.” In our school, we would definitely see similar results if because students who would normally achieve either an A or B in the majority of classes would find that they must study more in order to receive the perks associated with high grades. This would lead to frustration with school, and eventually some of these students would begin to dislike school. Even students who previously had low grades would feel this change because many students on the brink of failing, would have a failing grade. Many of these students already dislike school, but by making their grades even lower, many may just decide to give up because they feel that a passing grade has become unattainable.
Furthermore, the majority of schools use a ten-point grading scale. A study conducted by the Lakota School grading scale found that 69% of participating schools use a ten-point grading scale. By having a grading used by the majority of schools, it becomes easier to compare the grades made by our students to the grades made by students in other schools. This allows us to more easily and accurately gauge the progress and intelligence of our students without having to take into account a different grading school. Not only do most high schools use the ten-point grading scale, but an article by Woodside Learning Center states that the majority of colleges use the ten-point grading scale. If our school continues to use a ten-point grading scale, our students will have spent much time using this scale when they reached college and so they will not have to adjust to a completely new grading scale. With so much for students to adjust to when going to college, having one less thing for them to adjust to them can take away much stress.
In addition to reducing frustration and increasing uniformity, a ten-point grading scale will result in high GPAs for our students, meaning that more students will make honor roll. As a result, eligibility for good student discounts on car insurance will increase among students. Many companies require at least a B average to receive this discount, such companies include State Farm, Nationwide, Geico, and All State. The reduced car insurance cost will help save students and their parents money which they could better spend on necessities or on college. Students would also receive the benefits of higher GPAs when applying for scholarships. GuaranteedScholarships.com lists over forty scholarships given to students with a high enough GPA. According to the Middleton High School Website, a B+ average (90-92) gives a student a 3.33 GPA when using a seven-point grading scale; however, a student attending school in the Brevard County School District could have the same percentile grade, but have a GPA of at least 3.5 making him or her eligible for more scholarship money than a student who do just as well.
Indeed, switching to a seven-point grading scale will not benefit our school. Under a ten-point grading system, our school will use the most widely-used grading scale, students will have higher GPAs, and fewer students will feel frustrated. If the biology teacher truly wishes to motivate her students, she could enact a scale that uses pluses or minuses or reward students who achieve high grades. By doing this, she will not lose the benefits of the ten-point grading scale while still motivating students to do well.