While students who receive special education services are required to have annual individualized education program (IEP) goals, these goals are not a substitute for the grading assignments linked to the general curriculum. Instead, IEP goals identify specific areas of need in which a student will receive specially designed instruction from a special educator in order to access and progress in the general curriculum. Rather than substituting for or supplanting the general curriculum, IEP goals help a student access and progress in the general curriculum. 1At times, grades may be the sole system of gauging mastery, communication, and reflection of student progress and mastery of the general curriculum . When a student receives special education services, schools are also required to report on the student’s progress toward mastery of IEP goals; however, this is a separate and distinct requirement from assigning course grades, as IEP goals are not the same as course content. Therefore, it is very important that the grading system provide valid and meaningful information for the teacher, parent, and student.
    Currently, state law outlines the requirements for a school district grading policy in Texas Education Code (TEC) § 28.0216. It states a district’s grading policy: 1. Must require a classroom teacher to assign a grade that reflects the student’s relative mastery of an assignment; 2. May not require a classroom teacher to assign a minimum grade for an assignment without regard to the student’s quality of work; and 3. May allow a student a reasonable opportunity to make up or redo a class assignment or examination for which the student received a failing grade. 1In PPCD, a district-adopted curriculum should be in place. Consider a research based developmental checklist to report progress in lieu of taking grades. Preschool curriculum has a social emotional focus; therefore, letter grades do not accurately reflect growth in these areas.
    This document provides readers with a list of current statutes regarding grading and about best practices regarding grading students with disabilities. This document will also discuss the unique situations that arise with modified content. Additionally, this document will discuss the decisions that admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committees and classroom teachers can make regarding grading. 

    Grading and Progress Monitoring for Students with Disabilities

Last Modified on June 3, 2019