|A grade distribution of Loudoun County high schools for the years from 2007-2008 to 2012-2013. - Courtesy/LCPS|
According to a grade distribution report from Loudoun County Public Schools, high schools across the county handed out 10 percent more As and Bs last year (81 percent), than it did five years prior, during the 2007-2008 school year (71 percent).
Loudoun Valley has handed out the highest percentage of As and Bs in the county.
Specifically data shows that more than 85 percent of the course grades handed out to students at Loudoun Valley High School are As or Bs, which compares to 83 percent at Briar Woods.
From the 2007-2008 school year to last year the percentage of As students at Loudoun Valley earned jumped from 37 percent to 54 percent, a 17 percent increase.
That compares to a 13 percent increase in As at Freedom and a 12 percent increase in As at Broad Run and Loudoun County high schools.
Over the last eight months Loudoun Valley High School administration had been accused of pressuring teachers into boosting grades.
School Superintendent Dr. Edgar Hatrick said in a letter to Loudoun Valley that many of those claims were "not borne out by fact."
The average GPA has risen every year since 2007 for every school in the county, except for Park View High School.
Park View High School's average GPA saw a .04 point drop from the 2007-2008 school year to the 2012-2013 school year.
It also appears that a change in grading to a 10-point scale caused the largest year-over-year boost in grades for most schools.
SAT scores, a separate standardized measure of academic performance also used in the admissions process, has risen less than 1 percent for the school district over the same period of time.
A nationwide trend
The mean grade point average in the United States went from 2.77 in 1990 to 3.1 in 2009, according to the Department of Education's High School Transcript Study.
That's the difference between a C and a B.
A breakdown from U.S. News and World Report mentioned that, "ACT estimates the average GPA inflation was about .25 on a scale of 4.0 between 1991 and 2003, though the 2005 study’s authors believe that number understates the actual amount of grade inflation."
Department of Education officials conduct the High School Transcript study every few years, and the last such study was conducted in 2009.