Regarding The New York Times article, A Teacher Grows Disillusioned, although principals do have the right to change a student's grade, principals need to communicate with teachers and first understand why the student failed the class. Of course, we want to give students every opportunity to demonstrate their learning and provide them with all the support they need so that they can be successful. However, students should not be permitted to simply "skip" school and then be provided opportunities to make up exams and missed work. This negates the importance of students attending school. It seems that an alternative would have been to have this student attend summer school, or to make up missed work and take a final exam, rather than simply retake the same final exam and earn a passing grade.
Read the article and let me know what you think!