IOW parents circulate ‘fair-grade’ petition

Published 8:42 am Friday, July 30, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—A petition asking the administration of Isle of Wight County Schools to implement a 10-point grading scale is being circulated.

The petition went online at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to petition sponsor Chuck Dunlap. About 24 hours later, 67 people had signed the petition.

“I don’t know that I’m surprised, but I’m pleased,” said Dunlap, who is the parent of a rising junior and a recent graduate of the county’s schools.

Dunlap is one of several parents urging the School Board to abandon its current grading scale and adopt a 10-point scale. Parents say the current grading scale places students at a disadvantage when it comes to college admissions and scholarships.

Hardy District School Board member Herb DeGroft said a uniform grading scale set by the Virginia Department of Education would solve the problems caused by the different grading scales in use across the state.

“We need to make sure that our students in Isle of Wight have every bit of equal ability to compete if they decide to go on to college, and if a 10-point grading scale is it, then by golly that’s what it should be,” he said.

There is a small “core group” of parents pushing for the change, Dunlap said, but they communicate with dozens more supporters on Facebook and through e-mail.

The School Board is set to discuss the grading scale at its next meeting on Aug. 12.

Dunlap said he would present the petition at that meeting if there were enough signatures “to be impressive.”

“If not we’ll just keep it running,” he said, adding that the petition would be presented before the board makes a final decision.

Dunlap said a 10-point grading scale wouldn’t be a totally new concept in the county’s schools.

“We had a 10-point system in Isle of Wight from 1977 until 1979,” he said.