A much anticipated effort to increase academic rigor and improve standards at the city schools by upping the passing grade from 60 to 70-percent will not be implemented this school year, said state-appointed district superintendent Donnie Evans.
“The process is underway. It didn’t come to fruition on the timeline that I wanted,” said Evans on Wednesday evening when school board president Jonathan Hodges inquired whether the higher passing mark had been instituted for the new school year.
Evans said there was much that was happening last spring that kept district officials from implementing the higher passing score. He said the district is preparing processes and procedures to implement the 70-percent passing score for students.
The superintendent said the new passing grade also has to be properly communicated to parents which has yet to occur. He said he did not think it appropriate tell parents in the last minute about the dramatic change.
Evans said he expects the 70-percent passing grade to be in place during the 2016-17 school year.
School board president Jonathan Hodges who has been pushing for the much higher passing mark appeared disappointed at Evans’ words.
“I’ll be honest. I was disappointed it didn’t start this fall, but I just didn’t want to put it on parents in the last minute,” said Evans.
The superintendent has been talking about increasing the passing grade to 70 since mid-2014 in an effort to increase academic standards in the district.