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The value assigned to an “A” varies in high schools throughout Maine and nationally, and as college admissions and scholarships based on class rank raise the stakes, administrators are scrambling to devise rigorous, equitable grading systems. About half the nation's school systems assign weighted grades, allowing more points for high grades in Advanced Placement or other accelerated courses than for the same grades in less demanding classes, according to a new study from the University of Maine. But with no state or national standards to guide high schools that weight grades or to clarify their meaning to college admissions officers, school systems are facing potential legal consequences as well as increasing pressure from parents and students.


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