Thursday, November 19, 2009

TX: Minimum School Grading Mandate

(El Paso, Texas) Last month, the local teachers' union filed a class-action grievance with the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), contending that the district grading policy violates state law.
The battle is over a district policy that requires teachers, in most cases, to give students a grade that is no lower than a 50 for the first grading period of each semester, even if the student's performance merits a lower grade. [...]

A law passed during the Texas legislative session states that a school district may not require teachers to give a minimum grade for an assignment if the student did not earn that grade.
EPISD Superintendent Lorenzo García has said that state law isn't violated since it only applies to classroom assignments and the district's minimum grade policy applies to end-of-period grades. Therefore, actual grades earned will be given for homework, class assignments and tests and it's only at the end of six-week grading periods that the minimum fudging of marks applies.

In a nutshell, school administrators want district performance numbers to be artificially increased, arguably sidestepping state law, and the teachers are strongly opposed to the policy. District officials said they will meet to discuss revising the grading policy. Currently, it's not exactly clear how the teacher-administrator impasse will be resolved.

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