Equitable Grading Practices

Equitable Grading Practices for the Las Cruces Public Schools' 2021 Spring Semester

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The NMPED has provided school districts and teachers with grace to navigate through this pandemic and as district leaders we have done the same. There was not a requirement for formal classroom observations until the 3rd quarter, we have provided hundreds of hours of professional development and support. Canvas Captains are on call, the Teaching and Learning Center staff has been working personally with any teacher who needs it and each principal at LCPS has provided staff with time to adjust to this new environment. Our expectations remain high, but we have provided those support systems to make sure our teachers are successful.

The equitable grading scale is one way of teachers offering this same support for our students. Those students who still choose to do nothing, will still fail. Those students who strive to be at the top of their class, will still have a 4.0. The balanced grading scale is for those students in the middle who have lives at home that prevent them from full engagement and provide them with an opportunity to have success and the opportunity to earn credits when they know the content and can show that.


End of Q1: We collected data on the number of students who were failing at the end of quarter 1 at the middle school and high school level. Each school developed a plan of action to assist students. We instituted tutoring programs and other support systems and many schools adopted some form of a balanced grading scale (high schools).

On December 1, 2020, the NMPED released a guidance document for seniors that also included general support for students, including the consideration of equitable grading. Because of the new NMPED guidance, we started discussing providing districtwide guidance about equitable grading practices for the spring semester. (PLEASE SEE BELOW)

On December 11, 2020, I shared some samples of equitable grading scales with Denise Sheehan from NEA-LC for review. We discussed the possibility of adjusting practice as a district for the spring 2021 semester.

On December 15th and December 16th, Dr. Miller-Tomlinson presented information to principals about the equitable grading scale. We have reviewed policy, regulation and the CBA. In addition, we are seeking legal advice from district council as we make determinations for spring 2021. (The legal advice was that this is an administrative decision)

Plan moving forward:

January 5, 2021: Present preliminary information to LCPS School Board to get their input and thoughts for consideration

January 6-January 15, 2021: Teacher leaders and administrators will review various grading practices, including the NMPED guidance and presentation from Dr. Miller-Tomlinson. We will work with teachers to make recommendations for a districtwide plan for the spring 2021 semester.

January 19, 2021: A presentation of findings and recommendations of grading practices for spring 2021 will be shared with the LCPS School Board.

After January 19th: The Teacher Leader group will work with Dr. Miller-Tomlinson to study assessment and grading practices for future semesters

Dr. Trujillo explains equitable grading practices:

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Equitable Grading Scale Presentation

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Do No-Zero Policies Help or Hurt Students?


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