Fairfax County Schools to Review Grading Practices

Michael Alison Chandler:

Fairfax County school officials have agreed to review their grading policies in response to parents’ concerns that relatively stringent standards mean their children are losing out on scholarships and college admissions.
More than 2,800 parents and students signed an online petition urging the school system to adopt a 10-point grading scale and give extra weight for honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. The current system requires a score of 94 or higher for an A, and gives no extra credit to honors courses. AP courses are given half a point.
Many competing school systems, including Montgomery County, give A’s for lower scores and graduate students with similar backgrounds but higher GPA’s, the parents contend. Their concerns come as competition for admission to big-name colleges is at a high and tuition more expensive than ever.
Louise Epstein, president of the Fairfax County Association for the Gifted, said the current policies are unfair. “They cost families money and reduce good opportunities for students just because they go to Fairfax schools,” she said.