P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2011
AUSTIN — The House Public Education Committee today passed SB 79, legislation authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson protecting the authority of teachers to assign grades based on merit. The bill now goes to the full House.
"This bill is intended to ensure that Texas school districts may not require teachers to artificially inflate a student's grade, including report card grades or other cumulative grade averages," Senator Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said.
In 2009, Senator Nelson authored Senate Bill 2033, prohibiting minimum grade policies in schools, after teachers reported that they had been instructed not to assign grades lower than a minimum of 50, 60, and -- in some cases -- 70 percent.
In an effort to block its implementation, eleven school districts sued the Texas Education Agency, contending that the bill only applies to individual grades and not to averages or report card grades. The judge ruled that the law is "unambiguous" in its applicability to average grades. Senate Bill 79 codifies that ruling by making clear that the provisions of SB 2033 apply to averages.