Tennessee: Grading policy
About 75 percent of high schools would have to change their grading policy under a state plan to require a standardized system, according to the Oct. 17 Memphis Commercial Appeal. The proposed policy would primarily affect how schools give out grades of A and B. Students would have to receive scores of 94-100 on assignments to receive an A and scores of 85-93 to receive a B. Currently, only 25 percent of school districts set grading standards that high. Any score of 69 or below would count as an F.
Detroit: Achievement gap
Test scores are lower in Detroit Public Schools now than when the state took over the school system five years ago, according to the Oct. 16 Detroit Free Press. Students now lag even further behind students in the rest of the state in every subject (math, science and reading) and at every grade level except for high school reading, according to the paper’s analysis.
Minnesota: Teacher quality
Minnesota is poised to become the first state to work with the non-partisan Teaching Commission on a plan to improve teacher quality, according to the Oct. 14 Duluth News-Tribune. Among the proposals are higher pay for teachers in fields such as math and science; giving teachers more say in how schools are run; improving schools and colleges of education; and providing better professional development. Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants lawmakers to agree to link a boost in education spending to better teacher performance.