A recent episode of KSL Radio’s Doug Wright Show discussed a policy at an Alpine School District school that denies credit for students who have repeatedly been absent or tardy, even if they otherwise received good marks.
The discussion of attendance policies begins roughly two-thirds of the way through the third hour of the Doug Wright Show from Tuesday, February 15. Click here to find the audio podcast.
The Utah State Office of Education’s legal team says, while a school’s motives may be good, these kinds of policies could violate student property rights. From the September 2010 edition of the Utah School Law Update:
Further, a policy that allows a student to re-earn the grade by attending a class or seminar completely unrelated to the academic class could be viewed as arbitrary and held to further violate a student’s substantive due process rights.
In short, teachers should base student grades on academic performance and no other school official should alter those grades.
From the October 2007 edition of the Utah School Law Update:
Q: My daughter has received all “A” grades on her class assignments and tests but is receiving an “F” in a class based on her failure to pay the attendant fees. Is it permissible to base a grade on the non-payment of fees?
A: No. Grades must be based on academic performance standards, not on tangential items that may not be within the student’s control. While students and parents should pay their fees, the teacher will have to find other ways to encourage payment beyond docking the grade. If the student is earning one grade based on class assignments, tests and other related measures, the student has earned that grade and may not be denied it based on requirements that have nothing to do with the curriculum.