GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Teachers in Grand Rapids are no longer allowed to reduce a student's grade for lack of attendance, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

Teachers criticized the school board's claims that a student should not receive a lower grade if they can prove they know the material. The Grand Rapids teachers union said it thinks the move could be a ploy on the part of the school board to increase the number of passing students, especially since it was done so late in the semester, The Press reported.

Some educators are still skeptical.

"There's just no replacement for that student-teacher contact," Jenison High Principal Mark Dievendorf told The Press. "It's not just the delivery of instruction. It's the building of a relationship and the support and encouragement that helps students to succeed academically."

The Grand Rapids Press, "Grand Rapids policy criticized, but more schools say attendance not essential," June 4, 2008