Administrators at the for-profit K12 online charter called Tennessee Virtual Academy instructed teachers to delete failing grades from the fall semester.

School officials defended the practice:

Tennessee Virtual Academy Principal Josh Williams insisted that the school had taken the steps to “more accurately recognize students’ current progress.”

“By going back into our school’s electronic grading system and recording students’ most recent progress score (instead of taking the average throughout the semester) we could more accurately recognize students’ current progress in their individualized learning program,” he told the station in an email.

This must be the lamest excuse ever invented, since it achieves the opposite of what is intended. If you want to show “progress,” you keep the failing grades. That way, you can see gains from September forward.

The school is one of the lowest performing in the state. Despite its poor performance, the school is making money for K12 and hopes to grow enrollment.

We will soon find out whether the legislators care more about the quality of education offered to Tennessee students or pleasing the lobbyists for K12.