Tennessee State University officials told a State Senate panel on Monday that an internal audit had cleared them of accusations of improperly changing the grades of more than 100 students who enrolled in two pilot mathematics courses last fall, and officials of the Tennessee Board of Regents supported them in that assertion, the Associated Press reported.
The pilot courses were added to the curriculum as the state moved toward banning remedial classes at its four-year public universities. Students in the classes were required to complete college-level material, plus supplemental assignments designed to bring them up to speed. Students who failed to complete the supplemental assignments were given incompletes. In the spring, however, university officials changed the incompletes to letter grades, based on the students’ performance on the college-level material. Board of Regents officials testified at the hearing that the mistake had been in giving the incompletes, not in correcting the grades.
The senators on the subcommittee that held the hearing listened and occasionally asked questions, but didn’t say much about what had happened, The Tennessean reported. Back on their bus after the hearing, Tennessee State officials cheered and sang the university’s fight song. Portia Holmes Shields, the university’s interim president, briefly danced in the aisle.