Controversial Grading Policy Aims to Give Students Second Chance

Lowndes County, GA -- February 7, 2012 --

The Lowndes County Board of Education has implemented controversial new rules that aim to give students a second chance to earn better scores.

The new policy is for students in grades third through eighth. It is already commonly practiced in classrooms, however the new rules have sparked a debate that has received national attention.

Parents are divided when it comes to agreeing on the subject of whether a student gets a second chance. School officials say that decision should be left to the teacher.

Lowndes County School Superintendent Steve Smith says "I can't determine, in the class room, who deserves a second chance and who doesn't. But I can assure you that the teacher can determine who deserves a second chance and who does not. So we're putting a lot of discretionary authority in the hands of the teachers to make a wise decision."

One parent, who is also a school board employee, Sandra Wilcher also supported the plan saying "we may forget about some of the children that do struggle in our community. That they do need that extra support. There may be children out there who don't have the support that perhaps my own children have."

All elementary schools within Lowndes County serving grades 3-8 will be subject to the rules. The superintendent indicated that they would most likely not be implemented for high school students. He emphasized the importance of nurturing younger students while holding older students more accountable in the process of teaching young adults.

There are 10,000 students in the Lowndes County school system and 800 teachers.


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