Defining the ‘F’: Md. school district considers standardized grading scale

WASHINGTON — In Charles County, Maryland, an “F” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing at every public high school across the county, and now the Board of Education is weighing a proposal for a universal “10-point scale.”

The Charles County Public Schools grading committee has recommended that the board consider the scale for grades of 50 to 59 percent at secondary schools. Currently in the district, some schools use a 0-to-59 percent scale for “F.”

Details about the proposed changes can be found on the district’s website. The board will hold a town hall on the policy 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at 5980 Radio Station Road in La Plata. Staff will provide a brief overview before any questions or comments.

Residents can also weigh in on the proposal through an anonymous online survey until Oct. 15.

Proponents say the “50-59 percent rule” can help struggling learners recover their grade.  Opponents say it can lead to grade inflation and lower academic standards.

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