TEA BY LAW CANNOT TELL SCHOOL DISTRICTS HOW TO CALCULATE COURSE GRADES

Feb 7, 2012 by

Excerpts from Texas Education News, 1.23.12:

House Committee members pressed Texas Education Agency (TEA) General Counsel David Anderson on the EOC [end-of-course] grading issue. Anderson reiterated the Agency’s stance that the TEA cannot, by law, dictate how districts calculate course grades and class rankings, such as for “Top 10 percent” automatic college admisions – with the one exception that the SBOE rules require districts to only grant course credit based on a passing grade of at least 70 on a 100-point scale. Anderson said districts are otherwise free to use their own methods for valedictorian, class ranking and GPA determination purposes. But Anderson cautioned that a district’s basis for determining valedictorians, class rankings and GPAs must be explainable…

When asked if it may be possible for a district to use a GPA system that does not incorporate the 15 percent EOC final grade requirement, Anderson that that although this may be possible, it would be “challenging” for a district to calculate a GPA without a “G” (grade) in the EOC tested course. Anderson added that the agency does not have the authority to waive the 15 percent EOC final grade requirement.

…Bill Hammons said he believes that his reading of relevant law gives the TEA authority to issue firm and clear guidelines on the 15 percent EOC requirement.

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Excerpts from Texas Education News, 1.30.12:

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott made the following points:

Three specific sections of the Texas Education code prevent the TEA from being involved in local school-district grading policies, which is why the agency is not providing guidance and/or rules on how districts are to implement the law regarding the 15 percent EOC grade requirement.

Scott said his comments on this issue were to specifically refute statements made by Bill Hammond (of the Texas Taxpayers Association) at an earlier legislative committee hearing in which Hammond called the TEA “derelict” by not issuing guidelines to districts on the EOC grading issue.

*I frequently use the information provided by Texas Education News to write my own education articles. TEN is published 40 times a year and has been the voice of unbiased education reporting in Texas for more than 30 years. Cecil Clift is the editor and publisher. He does an excellent job of providing meaningful charts and graphs, and I always learn a great deal by reading his reporting of various education news events in Texas. To get a subscription to TEN, please contact Cecil Clift at P. O. Box 1663, Austin, TX 78767-1663; 512-443-2897; www.texednews.com .

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