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WCPS responds to state grading discrepancies

On Friday, January 18, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) held a number of webinars to communicate with school districts about a grading issue impacting the majority of school districts and charter schools across the state. Essentially, it has been reported that some students across North Carolina have experienced discrepancies with final grades for the first nine weeks, as well as in some cases their final first semester grades. This issue is isolated to this academic calendar year.

At this time, Wayne County Public Schools does not know how widespread this issue is locally, or how many students were impacted by the grading discrepancies. NCDPI reported that the discrepancies occurred in how PowerTeacher Pro, an electronic grade book program, calculated final grades using a numeric type grade scale. NCDPI stated in Friday’s webinar that an impacted student’s final grade in a particular section could have been rounded up or down anywhere from a half to a whole point. 

“It is our district’s goal to ensure every grade is an accurate reflection of student performance,” states Dr. Michael Dunsmore, superintendent. “After hearing recommendations made to school districts from NCDPI, Wayne County Public Schools will be switching from a numeric type grade scale to an alpha type grade scale. We will hold all first semester report cards at the traditional calendar schools until all grades are verified. We will also reissue report cards at our three non-traditional calendar schools, which have already completed their first semester.”

This is the first year the district has used PowerTeacher Pro or the numeric type grade scale that has been identified as the source of the grading discrepancies.

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