HB145 causes confusion with grading system


The NC General Assembly proposed a bill to change the public school performance grading system to a 15-point grade scale. However, this scale isn't a change from the past, but instead was an effort to keep the grade scale as it has been.

House Bill 145 was introduced Feb. 21 and has caused some confusion across NC due to people thinking it’s going to affect student grades. This is a bill the North Carolina General Assembly is considering to keep the public school performance grades to a 15-point grading scale.

This bill is for the “calculation of overall school performance scores and grades” according to the document and will only affect the grades schools receive, not the students. School performance grades are calculated for all schools and grades A-F is given to all NC public schools based on 80 percent achievement and 20 percent growth.

The bill just clarifies that an A would be 100-85 percent, a B would be 84-70 percent, a C would be 69-55 percent, a D would be 54-40 percent and an F would be anything below 40 percent. NC public schools are currently using the 15-point scale.

“I think the main goal is to reduce the number of failing schools,” Principal Ralph Kitley said. “I think there are many flaws to the system, to begin with. It’s hard to grade and compare schools with different cohorts of students.”

The reason the bill crosses off the 10-point scale and replaces it with the 15-point scale is that HB145 is from several years ago. The bill is so the annual waiver, which was used to supersede the 10-point scale, will no longer be necessary.  

There wouldn’t be a big effect on Northwest High School with this new bill.

“(The bill) shouldn’t affect Northwest at all since the grading is the same with an A being 100 to 85, which we’ve been around 85, 86 and 87 for few years in a row now,” Principal Ralph Kitley said.

Some students have opinions on the public school performance grading system.

“By making the grades easier, it’s just a loophole to ignore the fact that schools are deteriorating and the fact that we need to put more money into our schools to make the education better,” senior Mckenzie Tippett said.

If this law passes, it will go into effect beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.