Can Teachers Base Grades on a Student’s Effort, Work Habits, Attendance, and/or Participation?

As referenced in state law (TEC § 28.0216), a school district grading policy must require a classroom teacher to assign a grade that reflects the student’s relative mastery of an assignment. Effort, attendance, work habits, and participation are not directly related to the demonstration of mastery of an assignment, nor do they give a clear picture of the student’s academic learning.

TEC §28.0216 establishes requirements for local educational agencies’ (LEAs’) grading policies.   While the statute is titled “District Grading Policy,” it applies to both independent school districts and charter schools in Texas.

TEC §28.0216.  DISTRICT GRADING POLICY. A school district shall adopt a grading policy, including provisions for the assignment of grades on class assignments and examinations, before each school year. A district grading policy:

(1) must require a classroom teacher to assign a grade that reflects the student’s relative mastery of an assignment;

(2) may not require a classroom teacher to assign a minimum grade for an assignment without regard to the student’s quality of work; and

(3) may allow a student a reasonable opportunity to make up or redo a class assignment or examination for which the student received a failing grade.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.


The material in this post was excerpted from Grading and Progress Monitoring for Students with Disabilities: A Resource for Teachers by Education Service Center, Region 20.  You can read and download this resource at
http://www.esc20.net/users/0045/docs/AGC/GradingandProgressMonitoring.pdf