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article imageFlorida public school sets grade minimum

By Nate Smith     Nov 15, 2014 in Lifestyle
A public school in Florida has instituted a hard floor along its grading scale to help students pass classes that they were on the brink of failing.
No longer is a zero the lowest possible score a student could theoretically score in a class. Now, the lowest a middle or high school student would be graded for any one class over the course of an entire quarter or semester is 50.
The Orange County, Fla., public Board of Education approved the measure Tuesday.
An assistant administrator for the district notes any student that scored a 50 over an entire quarter would have to earn at least two A's and a B to earn at least a C for the year.
Board member's formal approval of the practice puts on paper what had been standard practice in the district for about a year.
Proponents of the practice argue it helps keep students trying all the way through high school, because they're still mathematically able to graduate. Dragged down by a bunch of zeroes, students may be more inclined to give up altogether, the school district argues.
About 43 percent of all students that reportedly had been helped along by the initiative failed anyway, the school district reports.
Teachers may still dole out "zeros" for individual assignments, but a student's grade for an entire quarter can't be below a 50, regardless.
The move comes with some objections from parents and teachers alike. Opposition groups call the policy unfair, claiming the practice violates law by forcing teacher's to artificially inflate a failing student's grade.
Opponents further argue it's a disservice to the students themselves ultimately by rewarding them for work they may not actually have done.
More about Public Schools, Public education, Florida, grade floor
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