GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The State of North Carolina could soon begin to grade schools on a different scale.
House Bill 145 proposes a new model, still grading school performance on a scale from A to F, but changing the percentages needed to qualify for a higher grade.
The North Carolina House of Representatives passed House Bill 145 on its first reading.
The bill would change the scale to the following:
- A — 85 percent and up
- B — 70 to 84 percent
- C — 55 to 69 percent
- D — 40 to 54 percent
- F — Less than 40 percent
The scale would make it significantly easier for schools to receive a higher grade with a lower percentage score, dropping the threshold for an A by 5 points, B by 10 points, C by 15 points, D by 20 points and F by 20 points.
For example, a school graded at 55 percent, an F under the current system, would get bumped up to a C with the same score.
The law, which would not impact student grades, would go into effect for the 2019-2020 school year.
This same scale has been used in North Carolina in the past.
“It’ll move a few more schools into the passing category without doing anything to change the way we teach,” is how Todd Warren explained his views on the proposal. Warren is a teacher with Guilford County, and is the president of Guilford County Association of Educators.
He said he disagrees with the way the state grades schools in general.
“Ranking schools through testing ... without doing what we know we need to do which is fund education,” he said.
Warren also said he feels the grading only shows the social economic status of it’s students.
“We know the as you move down to schools with poverty ... you get those F schools. It’s likely they are at a more than 90 percent poverty ranking,” he said.
Parents also expressed some concern. Many have said it will have them second guessing the quality of their child’s education.
If approved the grading scale will be applied when North Carolina grades school district for the 2019-2020 school year.