Public presses for answers as Pikeville Ind. board seeking more information on proposed grade scale change; impact on GPAs, scholarship funds at issue

Appalachian News-Express, Pikeville, Feb. 26, 2017

Pikeville Independent considering change to grading scale

BY JOSH LITTLE

Parents and community members gathered Tuesday at Pikeville High School to voice their opinions on the possibility of the Pikeville Independent School Board changing the district’s seven-point grading scale to a 10-point scale, which most other districts use.

Before the board’s special-called meeting wrapped up, parents asked if the board would vote on the issue at the next scheduled meeting in March to which board members said they would. Questions were also raised about changing the scale at the board’s January meeting.

“Nowhere have I found that a seven-point grading scale affects an ACT score,” said one attendee during Tuesday’s meeting. “What it does affect, absolutely, is potential scholarships, KEES money and recognition of academic achievement. (The board) kicked (the issue) around for a long time at the last board meeting, and I’d like to ask, ‘Mr. Chairman, what’s the board’s position?’”

Board Chairman Dr. Mark Myers said the board was still gathering information.

Numerous attendees asked that the board re-evaluate the grading scale and asked the board for a roll call vote.

Johnny Belcher, instructional supervisor for the Pikeville Independent School District, said that no one knows the amount of money (scholarships, grants, etc.) that could be lost due to the PIS grading scale.

“Anybody that will tell you that they know how much money will be lost by our grading scale is lying to you,” he said.

Once again, the question was raised whether colleges or universities know that a student is on a 10-point grading scale or a seven-point scale during the accepting process.

Board member Ashley Brown said she spoke with representatives from different universities and all of them said they did not pay attention to the difference in grading scales, they just took into account the GPA submitted by the school.

“I think it’s all about trying to create a level playing field,” she said. “I think a lot of these parents … if 93 was the standard across the board and that’s what you had to have to get your scholarship, I think they would be voting for that, but because the standard at the college level is 90, I don’t understand why we would shut the door on a few kids … any kid.”

The board agreed to add a role call vote to the board’s next meeting, which will be held in March.

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