A spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Education said Thursday that Crosby-Ironton school administrators may make their own decisions on student grading, even if it means giving "A's" and "B's" to students who may not deserve them.
"They can do it," said Bill Walsh, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Education, on C-I's new grading policy for the remainder of the semester. "There's nothing the state can say about that."
Walsh said the education department has no authority on how students are graded in school districts. This is a local school district decision, he said. The only way the state would become involved is if a student doesn't pass the state basic skills tests required for graduation and graduates anyway.
Nearly three years ago, the Red Wing School District experienced a three-week-long teachers' strike. Red Wing Superintendent Stan Slessor said Thursday that because the strike occurred at the tail end of first quarter and the beginning of second quarter, teachers and school administrators felt students had enough classroom time to receive grades for both quarters.
"The timing of it and settling was such that we didn't have to make accommodations," said Slessor. "We felt we had enough (classroom time) to grade fairly."
Dean Hansen, Deerwood, who has three children enrolled in C-I schools, said he had heard a rumor from other parents that teachers were told to only give out "A's" and "B's," but hadn't been sure if there was any truth to it.
"I may not have a big problem with it," said Hansen, because his three children usually get good grades anyhow. "I don't know if the grades would mean a whole lot either way. They still have to put in the effort and as long as it's not going toward their grade-point average. ... I don't see it as a real big issue."
Hansen conceded that some students may take advantage of the situation and not work as hard as they should.
Gail Gustafson, also a parent of three C-I students, said she can understand both sides in this situation. "The kids shouldn't have to suffer because the teachers walked out. On the other hand, it's also hard because we know why the teachers walked out, due to an unsettled contract," said Gustafson.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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