Monday, April 13, 2009

Alternative Grading Policy Concerns Texas Parents

This form the Dallas Morning News:

Plano considers alternative grading policy for middle schools

Cheat on a test, get a zero. Turn in a late assignment, the grade suffers.

They are the long-established rules of engagement in school.

But now a growing philosophical shift is putting more emphasis on what students are learning overall, rather than mostly focusing on a grade that can be pulled down by smaller assignments, quizzes, bad behavior or poor study skills.

Plano school officials are exploring a policy for middle schoolers that would not dock grades for cheating or late assignments. And teachers wouldn't grade some homework at all.

Plano ISD officials had hoped to roll out the new policy next school year, but the changes have been delayed because several teachers raised concerns they wouldn't be able to hold students accountable, according to documents and e-mails obtained by The Dallas Morning News.

But for some parents and teachers, such policies lower expectations and soften consequences for students who don't do work.

The debate touched down in Dallas schools this fall, when officials revamped grading rules to allow high school students to make up work and to retake tests without taking hits to their grade-point averages...

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