2012-11-28 / Opinions


Students need a 10-point grading system – fast

As a parent, a taxpayer and a voter, I would like the Chesterfield County School Board to know that I am unlikely to support any board member or school administrator who does not act promptly to make a change to the 10-point grading system used by the majority of school districts. It is beyond belief that these individuals should consider the change for no sooner than the 2014-15 school year, knowing that this is leaving our current graduating students at a competitive disadvantage.

While my own children will still benefit from the time frame being considered, it is unfair to older high school students to delay leveling the playing field for them too. It is unconscionable that an estimated 10,000 more local students will be adversely impacted before such a simple change can be made.

Kudos to Del. L. Mark Dudenhefer (R-2nd) for his efforts to make this sensible change mandatory for all Virginia school districts and ensure that our graduating students are judged using the same scale used by most other states. I will be contacting my delegate to ask for his support of House Bill 727.

Rosemary Vieira

Tim Bullis, director of community relations for Chesterfield County Public Schools responds: “As noted in a story published by the Chesterfield Observer, [CCPS] is considering a change to a 10-point grading scale for the 2014-15 school year. Within the coming months, school division leaders will engage staff and community members in further discussions to make sure this concept is understood and broadly supported. School Board action could be taken as early as August 2013. We would then use the 2013-14 school year for professional development, revising system-wide documents (report cards, etc.) and updating our technology-based reporting systems. At this time, the school division’s current student information system (our data warehouse) is in the process of being replaced. The current system’s vendor is no longer making major changes to the product. We expect to implement a new student information system, one that could support a 10-point scale, in 2014-15.”

GPA affected by more than grading system

Ms. Stewart’s 40-slide presentation [Nov. 7 article on changing county schools’ grading system] presented many interesting facts. However, the high school dropout rate (among minorities) and being prepared for college, scholarships, financial aid, seeking out-of-state admission, etc.cannot be linked entirely to the grade point average scale.

There are other indicators (environment, SOLs, teen pregnancy, alcohol/drug use etc.) for low student performance, and it is … [also a] commonwealth and U.S. problem.

I look forward to the School Board opening up this [issue] for public debate and discussion so more people can chime in.

Harriett JenniferDavis

Letter writer criticism was off the mark

I would like to respond to the opinions regarding having Gov. Romney at our store, the Mobility Supercenter [Letters, Oct. 31]. First of all, I was incensed about the “You didn’t build that” comment from President Obama. Certainly it can be construed in many ways, but if readers wish to spin that about infrastructure, that is up to them.

My comment was that citizens pay a lot of taxes for this infrastructure. That is a no brainer, so spin it if you wish. Also like many Americans, opinions are given with little research. We at the Mobility Supercenter do not provide powered wheelchairs as stated in the [letter], nor do we bill Medicare or Medicaid for any services we provide.

The [letter writer] is simply incorrect. Do your homework. We do at times take on Medicaid waivers for children in the waiver program who have intellectual disabilities.

I will note we do this as a service for the community. We are regulated by a low margin and the manpower and time it takes to be reimbursed is quite large. It is simply a money loser, but we at the Mobility Supercenter feel that it is the right thing to do.

On another note, I have tried relentlessly to stress that having a presidential candidate listen to our disabled community was the goal. It was not about us. It was about our veterans, our elderly and our disabled – [so they could] be heard by the potential next president.

Gov. Romney spent quite a bit of time with six of our clients, discussing their struggles, their issues. They included veterans and the disabled. We feel that our clients were heard.

Yes, I was incensed by Obama’s comments, but it truly boiled down to what my wife Kaye stated: We fight for the independence and freedom of our clients every day, just as they fight every day to live a normal life.

E. Lee Crenshaw
Vice President
Mobility Supercenter


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