Atlanta District Rolls Out New Grade-Changing Rules
The Atlanta school system will strengthen its rules on changing students' grades after a districtwide investigation.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Superintendent Meria Carstarphen asked for a report this summer after an internal investigation found that a high school principal changed more than 100 student grades from failing to passing with "scant justification."
The Journal Constitution reported that more than 7,700 changes were made to student grades in the past three school years. Prior to the investigation, Carstarphen said central staff office didn't monitor grading practices or grade changes.
Over the past year, the school system has completed eight reviews of suspicious grade change activity at district schools.
The district issued a report, which says the districtwide investigation didn't uncover any additional instances of "serious" grade-changing.
The grades were commonly changed from failing to passing after students completed extra assignments.
Under the new regulations, administrators have to complete several steps before a grade can be changed.
For one, school registrars will need to make an official request for a grade change, which has to be approved by the principal and associate superintendent. If the grade change is approved, students' parents will be notified.
Carstarphen said the new regulations will go into effect on Wednesday, the first day of classes for the 2015-16 school year.
"I am optimistic that these new safeguards will ensure that appropriate checks and balances are in place to prevent inappropriate grade changes in the future," Carstarphen said in a statement.