Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923


March 17, 2011
Contact: Janet Elliott (512) 463-0112

Senate Passes Truth-in-Grading Bill

AUSTIN — The Senate today passed Senate Bill 79 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, which protects the authority of teachers to assign grades based on merit. The bill now goes to the House.

"This bill is intended to ensure that Texas school districts may not require teachers to artificially inflate a student's grade, including report card grades or other cumulative grade averages," said Senator Nelson.

In 2009, Senator Nelson authored Senate Bill 2033, prohibiting minimum grade policies in schools, after teachers reported that they had been instructed not to assign grades lower than a minimum of 50, 60, and — in some cases — 70 percent.

In an effort to block its implementation, eleven school districts sued the Texas Education Agency, contending that the bill only applies to individual grades and not to averages or report card grades. The judge ruled that the law is "unambiguous" in its applicability to average grades. Senate Bill 79 codifies that ruling by making clear that the provisions of SB 2033 apply to averages.

Senator Nelson represents Senate District 12, which includes portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.