Wake (N.C.) schools looking at banning 'zero' grades, allowing late work

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Starting as soon as next school year, zeros may be banned as grades from Wake County schools, and students could be guaranteed the right to hand in late work for credit and retake exams to get higher scores.

School administrators said Tuesday that the district should overhaul its grading policy to make sure the marks reflect what students know, not how well they behave. Senior officials told school board members that the current system in which students can get grades as low as zero is too punitive.

“The zero knocks kids out of the box,” Superintendent Jim Merrill said. “That is the dropout path.”

Todd Wirt, assistant superintendent for academics, said Merrill’s top administrators are considering setting 50 as the lowest grade a student could receive throughout the state’s largest school system.

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