Oklahoma City School Board discussed grade-change policy out of turn, superintendent says

The Oklahoma City superintendent acknowledged a violation of the state open meetings law during a school board meeting Monday night. The school board discussed a controversial grade-changing policy at the end of a meeting after pulling it from the agenda.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: April 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm •  Published: April 4, 2013

Several other board members shared thoughts and asked questions. Springer responded, saying the goal is to empower teachers to have a justifiable reason to give course credit if they so choose.

District 5 Board Member Ruth Veales said the idea is a slippery slope.

“You're really opening a Pandora's box,” she said.

No vote was taken.

Policies are local

Grading practices are decided by local district officials, according to the state Education Department. Some school districts have policies that require an automatic grade switch. Others have discussed the idea but haven't made formal policies.

In Oklahoma City Public Schools, any grade-changing by administrators is inappropriate, said Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers.

Allen discussed the grade-change policy during the public comments section of the Monday night meeting, which is toward the beginning of the agenda.

“It's not complicated,” he said. “Students deserve the grade they earn in class. I'm afraid that our district is painting a picture to our general public, to our patrons, that our district is essentially one big grading scam.”

Allen told the board that the union contract with the district forbids grade changes by anyone except teachers unless there is a miscalculation or the teacher cannot provide evidence that the grade was earned.