Change coming to Belding grading scale system

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 1:50 pm on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BELDING — Belding Area Schools is hoping a small change it the grading scale system could have a big impact for its advanced placement (AP) courses at the high school.
The trend at Belding High School has been that students are anxious about taking AP classes because of the negative impact it could have on their grade point average (GPA) if they do not earn a B- or better in the course due to the grading scale, said Superintendent Leslie Mount.
“Students who take these classes are better prepared for life after high school and what they are going to encounter when they go to college,” Board President Tom Humphreys said.
Board members voted unanimously at Monday night’s meeting to adopt a change in the grading scale of AP courses that they hope will address the problem for good.
Under the old system, the grading scale for AP classes at Belding High School was divided. Students who earned a B- or higher were graded on a 5-point scale and students who earn a C+ or lower were graded on the traditional 4-point scale.
“It appears the fear of losing the 5-point GPA advantage by not obtaining a B- or higher has turned many students away from even attempting to take some of the AP course offered at the high school,” Mount said.
The board believes the AP courses are much more rigorous and that fairness and consistency in the grading sale would help to encourage more students to take the classes.
The 5-point scale will now be in effect for students who complete the AP class, pass the class and take the AP Exam.
“I think that is the best plan we can do,” said board member Byron Davey. “I think it’s the best way we can motivate students to take these harder, more challenging courses.”
Students who fail the course will have a failing grade on their record.
The change will be enacted at the high school immediately.

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