Texas schools can’t make teachers give students grades they didn’t earn, District Judge Gisela Triana-Doyal has ruled. A state law requires truthful grades determined by teachers. Eleven school districts had argued the law applies only to grades on assignments, not semester grades or six- or nine-week averages.
Some districts have made 50 the minimum score so students won’t give up on passing because of “catastrophic failure in one marking period,” writes Greg of Rhymes With Right. But the minimum score encouraged slackers.
For example, I had more than one kid who decided to “take a six-week off” (our semester has three six-week marking periods) at the end of a semester because they knew that they could not lose credit for the class (a couple of Bs and a 50 will get you a passing grade). In other instances, which were much more common, we found ourselves forced to give students who had appeared in our class only once or twice in an entire semester a 50, despite never having received a single assignment from them. It wasn’t even a case of getting a 50 just for showing up — it was getting a 50 for having your name in the grade book!
Greg, a social teacher, hopes this will “mean the end of districts and administrators suggesting that teachers who want to give students the grades that they actually earn need to leave the profession because ‘you just want to fail kids’.”