SUPERINTENDENT INTERPRETATION
 
Interpretation's Date: January 2, 2009
by superintendent Steven L. Paine
Section: III. County Educational Administration
SubSection: A. County Boards of Education

 

Interpretation

January 2, 2009

Wilma Zigmond, Superintendent
Logan County Schools
Post Office Box 477
Logan, WV 25601-0477

Dear Superintendent Zigmond:

Based upon my understanding that the Board of Education of Logan County has decided to stand by its decision to reverse its policy regarding dual credit classes following my request by letter dated November 13, 2008 to reconsider, I am now issuing a Superintendent?s Interpretation.

The Logan County Board exercised its discretion under West Virginia State Board Policy 2515, ?Uniform Grading? to weight grades for dual credit classes for the 2008-2009 school year. Students enrolled in dual credit classes enrolled with the understanding that grades in the dual credit classes would be weighted. However, after the start of the school year, the Logan County Board of Education reversed its grading policy to eliminate weighted grading in dual credit classes, ostensibly for concern that this would place too many students at the top of their class.

While a county board of education does have the discretion to determine whether grades will be weighted in dual credit classes, it must not abuse that discretion by acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The Logan County Board properly exercised its discretion to weight grades for dual credit classes in a manner that provided students with information in advance of registering for classes. Changing grading policies after student registration has occurred and/or after classes have begun is unfair to parents and students, many of whom will have relied on the previous policy in deciding which classes to take. The impact of these decisions, especially regarding dual credit classes, can have far reaching academic and financial consequences for families.

The Logan County Board did not articulate any nonarbitrary or compelling reason for taking such action after classes have started in the face of such adverse consequences. I believe any reviewing court, tribunal or authority would deem the Board to be acting in an arbitrary manner. In my opinion, the Logan County Board?s rescission of its earlier decision to weight grades constitutes an abuse of discretion and thereby

Wilma Zigmond, Superintendent
January 2, 2009
Page 2

violates Policy 2515. The Logan County Board would be vulnerable to a Citizens Appeal pursuant to West Virginia State Board Policy 7211, ?Appeal Procedures for Citizens.?

Accordingly, I am requesting once again that the Logan County Board of Education reconsider its position in light of this Superintendent?s Interpretation.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am
Sincerely,

/s/

Steven L. Paine
State Superintendent of Schools

SLP/hld/sdg