The New Grading Scale: Pros and Cons


Sophia Stone

Original artwork for the Herald

Nicholas Yakubenko, Staff Writer

While nearly all the students at Science Hill absolutely love the new grading scale, many teachers share mixed feelings about it. 

For perspective, here’s the old grading scale compared to the new one:

Old Grading Scale

A: 93-100

B: 85-92

C: 77-84

D: 70-76

F: 69 and below

New Grading Scale

A: 90-100

B: 80-89

C: 70-79

D: 60-69

F: 59 and below

When asked of his opinion on the new grading scale, geometry teacher Mr. Salyer responded, “I think the change is positive, [though] there are some pros and cons. The biggest pro is that it of course is going to reduce the failure rate, but I think one of the cons is in student accountability; you can get away with doing a little less and still make an A… [or a] B, and I see that the work ethic is ever so slightly diminished, especially in honors classes.” 

Science Hill principal Dr. Carter shares a slightly different view; he believes the new grading scale will make students work harder. “I believe the new grading scale places Tennessee on an even playing field with several area states. It more accurately reflects the work our students do and creates a clearer picture of their accomplishments. I do support the new grading scale. Again, this grading scale is a more accurate reflection of our students. The new grading scale will not change the rigor we expect or the expectations we have for all students. It could, however, help motivate students to dig deeper and work harder to improve their overall achievement and GPA.”

Why was the grading scale changed to begin with? In the words of the Board Chair for the Johnson City Schools Board of Education, Kathy Hall, In the case of the new grading policy, we made changes to our grading scale to reflect changes made by our legislators in their last session. Schools across Tennessee are required to change their policies to this new scale. Our legislators could speak to what caused them to make changes to the grading scale, but I am confident that one of the reasons was to be consistent with other states and to keep the playing field level as colleges and other post-secondary institutes review applications.” This means that the state legislature required Tennessee school systems to change to this new grading scale. This new grading scale puts us on fair ground to compete with other schools in academics, GPA, and college applications.