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Oklahoma City Public Schools ends grade-change practice

An Oklahoma City School District policy that allowed teachers and administrators to change high school student grades based on state exams was officially nixed Tuesday night.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: April 17, 2013

The Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent announced Tuesday night the end of an unofficial policy that allowed grade changing for high school students who fail courses. That practice will be eliminated.

The district allowed teachers and administrators to give D's to students who failed a class but passed the corresponding end-of-instruction exams, which are state-mandated tests high school seniors must pass to graduate.

“That won't be an option for the 2012-13 school year and beyond,” Superintendent Karl Springer told the school board. “We want to make it clear that we have high expectations for our students.”

Earlier this month, the school board was set to hear a proposal to formalize the process, but the presentation was yanked at the last minute. The board went on to discuss it at the end of the meeting, a violation of the state Open Meeting Act.

Grading practices are decided by local district officials, according to the state Education Department. Some Oklahoma school districts allow for grade changes based on end-of-instruction tests.

Dress code update

The board also changed a newly approved districtwide dress code.

The change limits each school to a maximum of three uniform shirt colors, one of which must be white. The previous policy did not set a limit on the number of allowable colors at each school. The update also specifies that the colors are determined by building administrators.

District 3 Board Member Phil Horning said he disagrees with the policy.

“I continue to believe it is a serious mistake not to trust the principal, the faculty, the parents of individual schools to determine if they need a uniform policy. ... I don't think it's wise,” he said.

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