Rapides board reverts to old system after input

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — Students in Rapides Parish will be graded on a numerical scale of percentages rather than letter grades only.

The Rapides Parish School Board voted unanimously to revert to the 2013-14 grading policy after hearing public comments for more than an hour at a special meeting Tuesday night.

The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1smzf3V ) parents, students and educators filled the Central Office board room for the meeting, all speaking against recent changes to the district's grading policy.

Under the 2014-15 Pupil Progression Plan approved this summer, the school district changed how it records grades. The change was implemented last week, according to an email from Executive Assistant Superintendent Arthur Joffrion Jr. that advised principals, assistant principals and lead teachers to record only letter grades and to change recorded numerical grades to letter grades by Sept. 12. A copy of the Sept. 5 email was obtained by The Town Talk.

In both systems, students are graded based on the state Department of Education numerical scale. It follows a scale of eight points for A's and B's — 93-100 percent is an A, 87-92 is a B — 10 points for C's and nine for D's. But a student receives an F for 66 percent or less.

Under the new policy, that percentage then was considered as letter grade only when recorded, which is a four-point scale — four points for an A, three for a B and so on. The letter grade system has been used for calculating grade point average, with a 3.5 to 4.0 equaling an A.

Rapides Superintendent Nason Authement said Monday that the intent of changing the policy was to "bring equity to grading practices across the district," referring to the large number of points that total an F, and to help struggling students overcome low grades.


Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

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