Linda Perlstein [Metro, Sept. 6] reported that "some Montgomery County teachers are speaking out against a new guideline that makes 50 out of 100 the lowest possible grade for an assignment, even if a student hands in a blank piece of paper -- or no paper at all."

Sometimes educational reform is so bold and innovative that its effects cascade far beyond the school walls. Nothing can stop this one.

The Florida Election Commission will decree that every candidate starts with 50 percent of the vote.

Football games will begin with the halftime show, and every player will start at halfback.

Half-gallon bottles of milk will be sold empty, next to empty cartons of half-and-half.

And every new idea for educational reform will be half-baked.

JOHN HOVEN

Silver Spring

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I encourage readers to consider the bigger picture regarding the grading and reporting policy that Linda Perlstein wrote about in "Montgomery Teachers Question Grade Scale."

Much effort went into the creation of this policy. National leaders in curriculum, assessment and learning based their recommendations for grading practices on current research.

The Montgomery County guidelines for implementing the grading and reporting policy reflect the best research on this topic. Individuals have had frequent opportunities to contribute to the dialogue. School staff members and parents can go to the Montgomery County Public Schools Web site, at www.mcps.k12.md.us/info/grading, where they will find a link to the implementation guide. The guide provides detailed information on implementing the policy as well as a clear rationale for it.

I believe that Montgomery County Public Schools has a policy as comprehensive and well thought out as can be found in any school system in the United States.

RICHARD EARENFIGHT

Kensington

The writer teaches English in the Montgomery County Public Schools.