Pasco teachers to get more control over changing grades

Revisions to the student progression plan also emphasize more separation between academic performance and classroom behavior.
Pasco County School Board member Colleen Beaudoin supports changes to the grading system that separate student behavior from content knowledge. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Pasco County School Board member Colleen Beaudoin supports changes to the grading system that separate student behavior from content knowledge. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Published July 19

Pasco County school teachers are poised to gain more say over whether their students’ grades may be changed after report cards are completed.

A proposed revision to the district’s student progression plan would remove the sole authority for grade alterations from the principal, and instead hand the responsibility to the teachers in consultation with their school leaders.

The new language, which goes to the School Board on Tuesday, says teachers will have the “final decision” on grade changes, in collaboration with principals. The current version states that principals have the right to review and change grades.

School Board vice chairwoman Colleen Beaudoin, who sits on the student progression plan committee, said the recommendation makes sense, because the teacher has the best understanding of a student’s academic performance.

“A principal shouldn’t be going in and changing grades without talking to the teacher,” said Beaudoin, a University of Tampa math instructor.

The revised language also clarifies the separation between academic and behavior grades on a student’s report card.

It asserts that parents and students must receive details about how grades will be assigned at the start of each grading period, and that marks must be based upon “examinations as well as written papers, class participation, and other academic performance criteria.”

Behavior is separate and distinct, according to the plan. And if a student is acting poorly, it states, parents must be informed well before any unsatisfactory grade is given.

The recommendations align with the district’s ongoing effort to ensure that grades reflect learning, and are not subject to inconsistent application of rules or the use of outside but often unrelated factors, such as extra credit for providing classroom supplies.

The administration unveiled an updated grading system in the spring, prompting questions from some board members. The discussion is likely to continue when the board considers the student progression plan Tuesday evening.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Related: Pasco school district revamps grading rules to focus more on learning

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