board meets Thursday at Luther Jackson [Gallows and 50]----
Dear FAIRGRADE Supporter,
Please read the following update. Our apologies for the length, but it contains important information you need to know for this week. This information has also been posted to our website at www.FAIRGRADE.org.
At the School Board work session on 1.12.09, several members of the School Board recognized that the public has lost confidence in the current grading scale. The School Board's consensus was to ask Superintendent Dale to review a number of alternative grading scales, and make a recommendation within 2 - 2 1/2 months about how, precisely, to change the grading scale. The School Board also asked Superintendent Dale to make a grading scale change effective for the 2009-2010 school year.
FAIRGRADE shares the public’s concerns about any further delays in this process. We need only seven of the 12 School Board members to vote YES this Thursday, January 22nd, for a motion to change both the weights for advanced courses and the grading scale – also known as OPTION D in the FCPS report.
Here is how you can be most effective.
1. Make plans to attend the School Board meeting on Thursday, January 22nd – 7:00pm at Luther Jackson Middle School located at 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church.
The School Board will vote on the grading policy issue and it is CRITICAL that we have FAIRGRADE supporters at this meeting. Over 1000 supporters showed up at the January 8th, 2009 School Board meeting and it made a HUGE impact on the School Board. The School Board needs to see and hear the community’s strong support for OPTION D and its implementation for the Fall 2009 school year. This grassroots showing is IMPERATIVE.
You may also sign up to speak at the School Board meeting. Go to http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/index.htm
to sign up online. You may also sign up by calling School Board office during normal business hours at 571.423.1075.
DO NOT LEAVE ACTION TO OTHERS. ATTEND THIS MEETING.
The School Board meeting will begin at 7:00pm in the auditorium of Luther Jackson Middle School - 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church. The speaker’s list will begin around 7:30pm. A vote on the grading policy is not expected until about 9:30pm. We encourage attendees to come for part or all of the meeting.
2. Call and email Superintendent Dale and the School Board and urge them to support OPTION D – which changes both the weights for advanced courses and the grading scale.
FAIRGRADE requests that your communications to School Board members and Dr. Dale stay focused on the facts and demonstrate reasonable expectations.
• With regards to admissions, a change in the grading scale can impact both the student’s LETTER GRADES and GPA. It may not increase a student’s chances of being accepted to Virginia public universities because several state schools are unable to admit all of the qualified applicants from Northern Virginia. Therefore, grading scale changes will likely have a greater impact for students applying to out-of-state universities and private in-state universities. Most importantly, a grading scale change will impact a larger percentage of students than a change in weights for advanced courses.
• With regards to GPAs, the FCPS report cites that the maximum average bump to a student’s GPA under a straight, 10-point grading scale would be 0.17 increase in a student’s GPA – a modest but important gain for college admissions, merit scholarship opportunities, honors program placement, NCAA eligibility, and good driver insurance discounts.
• Also, if you have a child in middle school taking Honors courses, please be aware that regular middle school Honors courses do not apply towards high school GPA and, therefore, would not be weighted. Only high-school level Honors courses taken in middle school would be weighted.
In our lobbying efforts of School Board officials this week, FAIRGRADE is advocating for a 10-point scale with pluses and minuses. The Board seems most receptive to this type of scale because FCPS students demonstrate varying degrees of academic success and it addresses the concerns of School Board members who do not want the pass/fail bar in FCPS to be lowered.
A 10-point scale with pluses and minuses provides a more accurate picture of a student’s performance in any given class. For example, a student striving for a 95 would be in the A range while the student striving for a 90 would be in the A- range.
To aid you in better understanding what a scale with pluses and minuses looks like, we are including a SAMPLE of the 10-point scale (with pluses and minuses) that FAIRGRADE sees commonly used by equally rigorous and competitive school districts in the United States (a chart with this information is available at www.FAIRGRADE.org:
Final Letter/Grade Numeric range/Unweighted Quality Points
A/ 93-100/ 4.0
A-/ 90-92/ 3.7
B+/ 87-89/ 3.3
B/ 83-86/ 3.0
B-/ 80-82/ 2.7
C+/ 77-79/ 2.3
C/ 73-76/ 2.0
C-/ 70-72/ 1.7
D+/ 67-69/ 1.3
D/ 63-66/ 1.0
D-/ 60-62/ 0.7
F <60 0
*NOTE: Some high schools include an A+ (Numeric range of 98-100 and unweighted quality points of 4.3) in their model of the 10-point grading scale.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.
Thank you for your continued support.