Texas School Districts Fight Law Banning Minimum Grades

10:34 am

View of an empty classroom. Picture courtesy of Momota M.

View of an empty classroom. Picture courtesy of Momota M.

Earlier this year, Senate Bill 2033 passed unanimously in the Texas legislature and was then signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. You may be wondering what sort of bill could elicit the agreement of the entire legislature. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a bill concerning the Texas public education system. The bill bans teachers from assigning artificial grades to help students pass. While this may sound like a good idea to any reasonable person, not everyone agrees with it.

Several Texas school districts are suing to stop the implementation of the law. The school districts of Fort Bend, Aldine, Klein, Alief, Anahuac and Clear Creek filed the suit and more are expected to join throughout December and January. According to these districts, minimum grading requirements act as “a key tool to keep students in school.”

What I find most interesting about this situation is that the entire legislature agreed that the law was necessary, and the vast majority of teachers believe it as well. Administrators, on the other hand believe the opposite. As best as I can guess, this has something to do with the fact that schools get closed down if they under perform for an extended period of time. If it’s not possible to fail, it’s not possible to have a poor performance and your school stays open.

Obviously, the problem here is that many of  the students have no incentive to learn anything when minimum grades are in effect. This is why teachers are opposed to them. Also, it’s not fair to the students who work for their grade when they see other students passing without doing any work.

I’d like to know what others out there think. If there are any school administrators out there, I’d like to know what makes you support minimum grades rather than education. If there’s any other insight out there, I’d like to see that as well. For a little more info on the subject, check out this post.

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