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Judges should stay out of school districts' decisions about how to calculate South Carolina students' grades, an appellate court ruled on Friday.

According to a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals, a trial judge should have dismissed a student's lawsuit challenging district officials' recalculation of his grade.

When a student transferred to a Greenville County school from out of state, district officials in 2012 calculated his grade-point average and ranked him first in his class for his junior year.

But another student's parents challenged that ranking, saying that the new student's grade-point average was getting the benefit of extra weight given by both schools to honors and advanced placement courses. The district recalculated the GPA, subsequently ranking the new student as sixth in his class.

The new student sued, saying the school district was wrong to recalculate his grades at all. A trial judge agreed and ordered the district to restore his No. 1 ranking.

In their ruling, the appellate judges said courts shouldn't interfere with districts' internal decisions if no obvious misdeeds have been committed.


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