Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dallas ISD minimum grading policy violates 2009 state law

The new 2009 state law ending school district minimum grades was recently upheld by a Texas court.

A number of Texas school Districts had filed a lawsuit seeking to continue policies requiring minimum grades.

In Dallas ISD the minimum grade is currently set at 50.  Board policy EIA (Local) states:
"For purposes of averaging across six-week periods or semester, a numerical grade of 50 is the lowest grade that will be recorded and used as a six-week grade."
The Dallas policy appears to be in clear violation of the state law passed in 2009 by unanimous votes of the Texas House and the Texas Senate.  The Texas state legislature clearly intended to end the practice of requiring minimum grades in Texas school districts.

Texas Judge Upholds State Law Ending Minimum Grade Requirements
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Edumication News - Unfair Park
Texas court rejects suit by coalition of school districts
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School districts wrong to fight truth-in-grading law

I did not support the minimum 50 grade policy when it was passed by the Dallas ISD board because it appeared to undermine the ability of teachers to honestly assess student performance.

Board Policy EIA (Local) first added the minimum 50 grade requirement on Thursday, January 31, 2008.  I made a motion to return the new grade requirement to the policy committee for further review, study and revision.  The motion died for lack of a second.

The final vote to adopt the minimum 50 grade policy was 8 Yes -1 No.  My vote was No.

It is time for our policy to follow the state law and remove all minimum grade requirements.