Grading Practices

The issuance of formal grades or other forms of assessment of student performance is a time-honored practice designed to offer formative and summative feedback to students and their parents. Grades are used to evaluate advancement from course to course; promotion and retention; placement in special education and gifted education; class rank; eligibility for extracurricular activities; eligibility for academic awards, honor societies, scholarships, and graduation; employment outside of school; and admission to colleges and universities. Consequently, grades are important to students and families and occasionally generate legal claims. While many students are disappointed with their grades from time to time, they have rarely mounted successful legal claims designed to change grades and related decisions, such as those for promotion and retention. In Sandlin v. Johnson (1981), ...

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