In the News: A-F School Rankings Draw Local Pushback

In several states, local superintendents are pushing back against plans to rate schools with letter grades, notes Daarel Burnett II in Ed Week.

At least 18 states have adopted simple report cards for schools based on test scores and graduation rates. But in some of these states, Burnett notes

A-F systems have received fierce backlash from local superintendents and school board members. They complain that the letter grades oversimplify student success or shortfalls, increase pressure to pay attention to tests, ignore school quality factors other than test scores, and demoralize teachers and parents.

“How Should States Design Their Accountability Systems,” a forum in the Winter 2017 issue of Education Next, looks at the pros and cons of different ways of rating schools.

One dominant model is the streamlined letter-grade system first adopted by Florida, which focuses on student achievement on annual statewide tests. By contrast, California is developing a dashboard-style system, which encompasses multiple measures, such as student attendance and school climate.

The forum presents two views on the merits of each model.

— Education Next

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