Education

Jefferson County Public Schools is asking parents whether an A letter grade should be based on a 90-100 point scale instead of the 93-100 scale currently used.

The school district sent a survey to parents this week that makes the case that a revised grading scale (see below) would help students compete for state scholarship money known as KEES, or Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship.

“There are different thoughts on this,” said Karen Branham, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for JCPS.

“Some people think if we lower our grading scale we’re lowing our standards. Other people would subscribe to the thought that other districts have changed to what we call a revised 10-point scale.”

The new grading scale would also be aligned to the Common Core standards Kentucky has adopted.

But a driving force behind the change is tied to KEES, which is based on grades a student earns, she said. Some surrounding districts, including Bullitt and Oldham county public schools, have already made the switch.

Others use varying scales. For example, Elizabethtown Independent Schools grade an A based on 95-108, according to JCPS research.

“It’s really, in my opinion, about equity,” said Branham.

The survey also asks parents if JCPS should switch from six to four grading cycles for elementary and middle school students.

Branham said the four assessment cycles would bring them in line with other assessments happening around the district.

Here is the current grading policy:

  • A (Above Standards with Exceptional Performance) 93-100%
  • B (Above Standards) 86-92%
  • C (Meets Standards) 79-85%
  • D (Marginally Meets Standards) 70-78%
  • U (Below Standards) Below 70%

Here is the suggested grading policy:

  • A (Above Standards with Exceptional Performance) 90-100%
  • B (Above Standards) 80-89%
  • C (Meets Standards) 75-79%
  • D (Marginally Meets Standards) 70-74%
  • U (Below Standards) Below 70%