Today’s Dallas Morning News reports about Texas’ new law–Senate Bill 2033. Schools need to adopt grading policy before the start of the school year. Teachers need to grade students on the basis of their mastery, not an arbitrary minimum grade below which teachers cannot go.

Under the new law, teachers are no longer required to give students grades they did not earn–such as never going below a 50, 60, or 70.

The purpose of the new law is to give honest grades and to stem grade inflation. The matter is controversial, however, as some link it to school dropouts and social promotion. Others say the law will lead to more teacher respect as professionals– and to more student accountability. An interesting read.

Here is the link to the article:

See also my little book, Grades, Report Cards, Etc… and the Law, and excellent resource for the beginning of the school year. It focuses on legal issues in grading all students, including students with disabilities. Find the order form at: or order the book through Texas Schools Adminstrators’ Legal Digest:

Happy beginning of the 2009-2010 school year!

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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