School Board will abolish lenient grading system - South Lake Press: News

School Board will abolish lenient grading system

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Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:30 pm

Minimum scores of 50 on report cards and individual school assignments appear to be ending in Lake County.

School Board members agreed to those changes when they tentatively approved modifications to the Student Progression Plan last week. Final approval of the plan comes back before the board at a public hearing tentatively set for May 12.

A recent report shared with School Board members found the majority of county schools do not give students scores of less than 50 on report cards, which are sent home after each nine-week grading period.

Modifications to the plan require teachers to record the actual grade earned by the student on individual assignments. Teachers also have the discretion to give an “Incomplete” during the first and third nine-week grading period, giving students the opportunity to earn their grade later.

Another change specifies encouraging schools “to establish grading criteria that will permit students with failing grades to successfully participate in grade recovery in future grading periods,” which could mean anything from making up tests or extra credit, according to school board officials.

School Board member Bill Mathias applauded the changes.

“I feel very strongly that in the real world you get what you earn,” he said. “We were setting a bad precedent by this minimum grade.”

School Board member Rosanne Brandeburg said the incomplete gives students the opportunity to change the grade into one that is earned.

“I think the change (in the plan) is good,” she said. “I think students should receive the grade they earn.”

Stuart Klatte, president of the Lake County Education Association, applauded the district’s tentative changes to the plan.

“It is a good step to provide real world experiences within the structure of the school,” he said.

Keith Hyndshaw, 2014 Lake County Schools’ Teacher of the Year finalist, was asked his opinion on the issue as a guest of the board.

The history and psychology teacher said he was never in favor of giving a minimum score of 50, and spoke favorably of the incomplete as a way to help students in extenuating circumstances.

“That is how colleges and universities operate,” he said, referring to the incomplete. “I do like the flexibility for the teacher to have that. The goal of education is for the kids to learn the skills and content.”

Superintendent Susan Moxley agreed.

“If the student is coming to the table and wanting to do better, we want to give the student the opportunity to do that,” she said.

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