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Three Years Later, Dallas ISD Trustees Appear Ready to Ditch Minimum-Grade Policy

About two months back, Dallas Independent School District trustee Carla Ranger blasted the district's no-grade-lower-than-a-50 policy (again), this time by insisting it violated state law. Ranger's comments followed a ruling by State District Judge Gisela Triana-Doyal, who slapped down 11 Houston-area districts' similar min-grade requirements. Three years after the district introduced its its "effort-based" grading policy, Ranger wrote on her blog, "It is time for our policy to follow the state law and remove all minimum grade requirements."

And today -- two days after those districts down south said they wouldn't appeal the judge's ruling -- it appears the district will do just that: The trustees will meet this evening, and on the board's consent agenda is the item "Amendment to Board Policy EIA," which says anything below a 70 will now be considered a failing grade. Crossed out is the phrase: "For purposes of averaging across six-week periods or semesters, a numerical grade of 50 is the lowest grade that will be recorded and used as a six-week grade." And beneath it you'll find this:

A student who receives an interim progress report during the sixweek grading period indicating the student's performance in any subject or class is below 70 or whose average is deemed borderline according to District guidelines, shall be encouraged to complete special projects or extra credit assignments prior to the end of the six-week grading period. When both the teacher and principal agree that extenuating circumstances are present, the student may be given additional time to complete the special projects or extra credit assignments beyond the end of the six-week grading period.

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