Baton Rouge, LA (KPEL News) - The Louisiana Legislature has plowed through the list of more than 1,000 bills that were pre-filed for the regular session. Several of the bills deal with education, most notably the ESA bill that will allow "the money to follow the child" to a public or private school.

One bill has flown under the radar. While it may not sound like a big deal to some people, the measure that adjusts the grading scale in public schools could change grade point averages (GPA) and puts Louisiana students on more equal footing.


School officials have been clambering for an equitable grading scale for at least a decade. A football coach at a Shreveport area high school told the Shreveport Times in 2015:

Our kids are competing for all types of scholarships. We are not set up for equitable success.

Louisiana TOPS, other scholarships, and merit-based awards are weighted in favor of a student's GPA. Grading scales are often subjective, in that certain classes operate on different measurement. For example, an AP or dual enrollment class may utilize a 10-point grading scale, while other classes use the state-mandated scale.

Louisiana law required schools to operate using a 7-point scale. The numerical score or percentage corresponded to the appropriate letter grade, and the letter grade represents a value used to calculate a student's GPA:

A (4) = 100-93
B (3) = 92-85
C (2) = 84-75
D (1) = 74-67
F (0) = 66-0

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry has signed House Bill 424 which mandates that all public schools, including charter schools, operate on a 10-point grading scale.

Neighboring states, like Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, operate on a 10-point grading scale. By aligning with the measurement formula, Louisiana students will now be on equal footing when it comes to competing for slots in higher education.


Tommy attends a Louisiana school that uses a 7-point grading scale. His grades are as follows:

English-- 92 B (3)
Math-- 95 A (4)
Science-- 83 C (2)
Social Studies-- 90 B (3)

Tommy's GPA is 3.0.

Those same numerical scores translate to a 3.75 using a 10-point grading scale.

The difference of .75 could determine the student's ranking for entrance, course selection, and scholarship awards, so much so that Tommy could miss out on attending the college of his choice. The singular reason would be that Louisiana is using a different set of metrics than the states surrounding it.

Louisiana public school students will see the new grading system in place across the board for the 2024-25 school year.

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