Zero equals fifty percent

January 7, 2009 5:53:07 AM PST
Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators are defending a policy that makes 50 percent the lowest score students can receive.

The school board and teachers union prompted criticism of the policy in a joint memo in September. But administrators say the policy is necessary to help struggling students - and is being mathematically sound.

But the district's teachers say some students refuse to hand in assignments because they're content to get the "50 percent" score for doing nothing.

The administrator say students get an A for 90 percent or above, a B for 80 percent or above and so on. A failing grade is given for work from 59 percent to 50 percent. The administrators say allowing scores as low as zero gives the failing grade too much weight.