New school year brings change to 10-point grading scale

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The school year kicking off Monday across South Carolina brings a new 10-point grading scale for high schoolers, impacting who qualifies for scholarships, sports, or just a passing grade.

That means a 90 becomes an A; 80 is a B; 70 a C; and 60 passes. Previously, the thresholds were 93, 85, 77 and 70, respectively.

State schools Superintendent Molly Spearman says the change allows students to fairly compete for college entry and scholarships and provides consistency for transfer students, since other states already use a 10-point scale.

Spearman contends the seven-point scale used statewide since 2000 puts South Carolina students at a disadvantage. Critics, however, argue the change lessens the value of a diploma, since a failing grade lowers from 69 to 59.

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