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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 22
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 22

Austin, Texas
Issue Date:
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Bo Austin American-Statesman Sunday, October 21, 1984 Weakening of school reform feared Bailout for failing students challenged only if the student had a grade average of 60 or better on a 100-point scale and had not failed more than two classes that semester. The teacher would average the grades from the two reporting periods to obtain the student's grade. If the teacher did not withhold the grade, the student would be suspended from performances or games, but could continue to practice with, for example, a football team, or band. If the student's grades did not improve during the next six-week grading period, he would be suspended from both practice and performances. "I don't think this is in the spirit of the legislation or the Select Committee on Public Education's recommendations," said board member Charles Duncan of Houston, who was on the select By DEBBIE GRAVES Staff 'State Board of Education members Saturday criticized a proposal they believe would weak-.

en the new education reform law by letting students who are failing participate in extracurricular -The law enacted this summer said students could not participate in extracurricular activities if they 'failed an academic course. The student affairs committee of board unanimously recommended Friday that a teacher be allowed to withold a student's grade if the teacher thought the student could be expected to raise the grade during the next reporting '''This procedure could be used committee. "We're building loopholes," said board member Maria Elena Flood of El Paso. "You can get around the football season easily" for two six-week periods, Duncan said. A failing student would be better served by attending after-school help sessions instead of extracurricular activities, said board member Carolyn Crawford of Beaumont Duncan also said, "I can envision that there would be enormous pressure placed on teachers" when deciding whether to withhold grades.

The student affairs committee led by Jack Strong will discuss the proposal further in two weeks. Strong plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal Dec. 1. The state board also learned that $15 million to $16.5 million will be needed to develop and administer recertification tests to teachers and education majors now in Texas colleges and universities. No money has been appropriated for the tests, and the education agency staff has asked the board to consider making an emergency funding request of the Legislature.

Both tests are required by law. Texas Education Agency staff members estimate it will take 200 tests to cover all grade and subject areas being taught in Texas schools. Before the testing was required, Texas teachers obtained certificates good for a lifetime. To continue teaching after 1986, teachers must pass these yet-to-be-developed tests. If the board rules that the teachers must pay to take the tests, the state will save $8 million.

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