Superintendent Dorsey Hopson speaks on grade controversy

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- WREG is finally hearing from Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson on a controversial grading practice.

WREG has demanded answers for a week on the so called grade floors. It's a system that gives students higher grades than they've earned.

Hopson spoke to WREG at a school board committee meeting Tuesday.

He admits it's time to consider a standard district policy.

"As I’ve started to investigate this, different schools set different levels. Some set 50. Some set 55. We want to make sure it’s consistent. To my core, I want to make sure the kids who are doing better have the opportunity," he said. "At the end of the day, if your report card says a F whether you get a 20 or a 69 you get a F."

Hopson has suggested the board take up this issue.

"If you’re going to have a practice that’s this important, it should be consistent. I think obviously our elected board will weigh in and determine what’s best," said Hopson. "That’s one area we can improve in. A lot of districts and superintendents I spoke with, a lot of people don’t have those policies written down but some do."

Last week, WREG told you about an email a Kingsbury High teacher got from the assistant principal asking teachers to fill in missing grades with at least a 65.

The teacher expressed concern stating this made it easier for kids to pass without the knowledge they need.

Hopson said grade floors are to help students succeed and not drop out.

"With a zero, it’s impossible to pass a course. It creates kids who don’t have hope, disciplinary issues, that creates a really bad scenario," said Hopson.

It's unclear when the board will take up the issue. Their next meeting is November 28.

WREG will continue to follow this story.