Zero Intolerance

Under a new policy instituted by Lowndes County Schools in Georgia -- report cards and progress reports will reflect a 60 out of 100 as the lowest grade.

Teachers must offer students opportunities to retake tests and redo assignments until a passing grade is earned. The highest grade earned will be recorded, and teachers cannot record zeros, but can give an "incomplete" for work not turned in after insisting that the assignment be completed.

"Assigning a grade of zero is equivalent to giving up on a child," Assistant Superintendent of Lowndes County Schools Troy Davis told reporters.

The district has posted the full text of the new guidelines online. The grading guide states that teachers should not be satisfied with issuing grades below a student's potential.


Digital Textbook Target - 2017

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other Obama administration officials challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students' hands within five years.

At a recent "digital town hall" a new "playbook" was released that promotes the use of digital textbooks and offers guidance. The Obama administration hopes that dollars spent on traditional textbooks can instead go toward making digital learning a reality. Duncan told reporters:

"Do we want kids walking around with 50-pound backpacks and every book in those backpacks costing 50, 60, 70 dollars and many of them being out of date? Or, do we want students walking around with a mobile device that has much more content than was even imaginable a couple years ago and can be constantly updated? I think it's a very simple choice."