MCS officials ask state to clarify report card's grading scale - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MCS officials ask state to clarify report card's grading scale

Jones is backing the MCS administration's call for a more transparent state grading scale after the system performed poorly on the Report Card on Tennessee Schools. Jones is backing the MCS administration's call for a more transparent state grading scale after the system performed poorly on the Report Card on Tennessee Schools.

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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Leaders with Memphis City Schools say the Tennessee State Board of Education has some explaining to do.  Memphis City School Board Chairman Martavius Jones says the state's new scoring scale, which makes a 55 equivalent to an A, is misleading.

"90-100 was an A, 80-89 was a B, 70-79 was a C, but no where in anyone's educational sphere is a numerical grade of 55 or above considered excellent," Jones said Tuesday.

Jones is backing the MCS administration's call for a more transparent state grading scale after the system performed poorly on the Report Card on Tennessee Schools. Memphis City Schools scored two D's, one in Math and another in Reading and Language Arts, as well as F's in Science and Social Studies.

"We accept the challenges we have in Memphis City Schools, but they're challenges we have statewide," Jones said.

According to the state report card, in math MCS received a 41, while Knoxville County Schools scored a 53.  The state gave Memphis a D in letter grades and Knox County a B.  The school board and the administrators want to know what formula the state used to calculate the letter grades.

"The number itself is not the issue," Jones said. "It's how they assigned that number to a corresponding letter grade."

Two factors make Memphis different than any other district.  For one, Memphis students have the state's highest mobility rate.  Experts say every time a student moves, six weeks of instruction are lost.

"We have students who may start at Frayser, transfer to Ross Road Elementary, and then during that same school year transfer to Whites Chapel," Jones said.

Also, the dual city-county school system means Memphis is singled out.  Other districts in Tennessee are graded by county.

Jones said he plans to put pressure on the governor to create a better scale.

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