Tag Archives: Steve Smith

Media flap over Lowndes grading

Interesting timing, the Chamber deciding to pay off CUEE’s debts from pushing school consolidation, followed shortly by a media campaign to discredit the Lowndes School System.
17 January 2012:
Chamber of Commerce board decides to repay CUEE’s outstanding vendor debts in exchange for owning CUEE’s education document.
3 February 2012:
Maureen Downey blogged for the AJC, No zeros in school any longer. But aren’t there well deserved zeros? Despite admitting that the Lowndes school grading policy is a common practice in many systems and is intended to make sure students actually learn, she ends with this spin:
But aren’t there well deserved zeros?

I would argue that middle school teachers have some students who simply don’t do the work. They get it; they just don’t do it. The Lowndes policy calls for multiple interventions for obdurate students, but wouldn’t a zero make an important statement?

How else do adolescents learn that there are consequences for failure to comply with assignments? In the classroom, it is a zero. In the workplace, it is termination.

3 February 2012:
Lowndes School System Superintendent Dr. Steve Smith explained Lowndes grading policies, including this bit:
The Lowndes County Schools recently released grading guidelines for parents to clarify what has been our current practice on reporting of grades and to reaffirm our commitment to mastery learning by all students. For the past year and a half, our practice in grades 3-8 has been….
The point being that this is not a new policy.
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The Real Truth About School Consolidation by Supt. Smith to Lowndes County Schools

Received today. -jsq
Sent: Tue, October 25, 2011 7:55:07 AM
Subject: Letter to the Staff
Attached is a copy a document that was sent to all Lowndes County teachers and staff from Dr. Steve Smith.
Sam Allen
Samuel Allen, Superintendent Emeritus [Valdosta City Schools]
The letter is on the LAKE website. Here are a few excerpts:
REAL TRUTH: Continuing all of the current programs the Valdosta City School System and the Lowndes County School System have would require a millage rate of approximately 24 mills. Considering state law limits us to 21 mills, some programs will be eliminated. The decision to eliminate such programs will be recommended by the Lowndes County Superintendent, subject to final approval by the Lowndes County Board of Education. There will be winners and losers in consolidation and several current successful programs will likely have to go.
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