Right call by school board

Published 9:42 am Friday, October 14, 2011

The Franklin School Board, by a unanimous vote of those present, this week wisely reversed a misguided new grading policy that required teachers to award students a grade of 60 when they’d scored much lower.

Conceived by administrators as a way of helping struggling students over the hump academically, the policy was almost certain to have a very damaging, unintended effect: the message to capable students that they could coast through the school year with little effort, try hard on occasion, and still pass a class and move on to the next grade level.

The school board listened carefully to the administration’s rationale, considered the facts, and made the correct decision to end the policy.

We’re sorry that only four school board members were present at a special meeting Tuesday night. The three absent board members have some explaining to do about taking a pass on a critical decision.

Also unresolved is accountability for the way the policy was implemented: without input from parents or blessing from the school board.

The city schools administration owes all stakeholders in the city’s public schools an apology. The school board should insist that it be given.