Conduct grades for South Carolina students considered

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Monday, Aug. 18, 2014

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW) -- Students in Aiken County are back in school and hitting the books hoping for good grades, but they may be judged on more than just book smarts to get an A.

The state school board is considering adding conduct grades to report cards.

"We got them to class and they're ready to go," said Christy Morgan.

The first day of school for Christy Morgan's two kids and thousands of others in Aiken County. Before they know it, they'll be getting report cards, but some school officials want more than just a grade for hitting the books.

"I believe that it's effort in student conduct and behavior that governs how they develop as future citizens and how well they do in their academics," Larry Kobrovsky said.

Larry Kobrovsky a state school board member wants all South Carolina schools to give out conduct grades. Students will be graded on effort, neatness, and punctuality. He says that letter on a report card is what matters.

"Students need to be told unless you make the effort you're going to fail in life and in school and the only way to succeed in life and school is to make the effort," Kobrovsky said.

Christy Morgan wants to know how her kids are acting when she's not around.

"As a mother, I am concerned about their behavior. I expect them to do what they do at home in the classroom," Morgan said.

Right now, students in Aiken County don't get conduct grades. Teachers can leave comments on a report card and for board members in Aiken that's all they need

"I think it's a much better idea to just have those conversations with parents rather than just boiling it down to a letter," said King Laurence, Associate Superintendent for Instruction and Accountability.

The way a conduct grade will be measured is up to the teacher. Something King Laurence says is subjective and something he does not want in Aiken County.

"It's subjective. Unless you make a complicated rubric that says if the student does this this many times than they'll end up with an A this many times they'll end up with a B. It really is hard when you're trying to box in something like conduct," Laurence said.

The state school board will meet next month to discuss this further.

"If you're trusting teachers to educate our kids, they should be able to judge their conduct," Kobrovsky said.

We want to know what you think. Should South Carolina students get conduct grades? Take our poll and let us know.

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