Should Your Kids Be Allowed to Fail?

Texas state senators say they're shocked by what could be going on in your child's school. They're talking about the no-fail grading policy.

The no-fail policy works just like it sounds, it does not allow students to fail. Some districts set a minimum grade at fifty, while others set the bar at seventy, regardless of the grade students actually earned.

When it comes to grading her fifth graders' school work, Tricia Cook has a strict policy. "We have the program ZAP, which stands for zeros are not permitted." And that goes for all schools in the Canyon and Amarillo districts. Both do not give grades lower than fifty percent.

Texas senators say it has to stop. They recently voted unanimously to outlaw minimum grade scales, saying it encourages kids to work the system.

But the school districts disagree, saying their polices are decreasing drop out rates and helping students learn more. AISD's Amarillo Cluster Executive Director Dr. Gary Angell says, "If he earned a ten average because he was just being a kid, blowing off assignments of whatever, then no matter how hard he works he couldn't pull it out the rest of the year."

Tricia Cook says, "Just giving them a zero is, actually to me and some of the other teachers as we've made this a part of our school, it's almost the easy way out. I don't want to do the work. I'll take a zero."

So, what do the kids who are actually getting these grades think? We hit the streets to find out. "It gives other students a chance to bring up their grades and get a better education which means a better economy and a better lifestyle... They're gonna drop out anyways because it's their choice...I think if they make under a fifty they should be kicked out of the class they should be put in an easier class."

Since State Senators already approved doing away with no-fail grades, the next stop is the State House.