South Bend school board members disagree about new grading guidelines

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Two school board members want the South Bend School District to rescind a policy that they say artifically inflates grades.

"If they don't do well, their grade will be brought up to 50-percent automatically, and I don't think that's correct," says Roger Parent, a board member with South Bend schools.  

He's upset about this new grading system.  It was implemented in January, and the F grade now has to be 50-59, instead of the normal 0-59.  Some members say without this change, students who get off to a rough start have little motivation to do better.  

The policy only applies to high school students, and only to the first grading period of any given school year.  

But now, both Parent and Bill Sniadecki worry this new system is artificially boosting grades.  

Both of these board members are asking that this new system be rescinded, and believe there are other alternatives.  

"A teacher can give more work, or can even have the test be taken again," says Parent.  

Both Parent and Sniadecki have not yet formally heard back from Superintendent Dr. Carole Schmidt.  

But in this statement, she tells ABC57, "It is not the intent, nor has it ever been, to artificially elevate grades....once the committee's review is complete, any recommendations to changes in the administration guidelines will be shared with the Board of School Trustees."  

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