Every Student Succeeds Act News in Brief

District Leaders Protest State A-F Grading Mandates for Schools

By Daarel Burnette II — January 10, 2017 1 min read

District administrators in Alabama and Texas are protesting the A-F report cards mandated by their state legislatures, which force the states’ education departments to evaluate their schools and school districts with letter grades. Data released by both states show perceivably high-performing suburban school districts—along with traditionally low-performing districts—receiving D’s and F’s on this year’s report cards that are heavily based on last year’s standardized tests.

Proponents say the use of such ratings is an easy way for parents to grasp the quality of schools. But opponents say the approach is simplistic and vulnerable to data mishaps.

In Texas, the education department on Friday released a provisional ratings report card—ratings that district officials already are calling flawed.

The state association of school administrators sent around a petition calling for its repeal; by midweek, more than 142 local school boards had adopted resolutions opposing the report card.

Officials with the Alabama education department, meanwhile, are in a spat with the local press over this year’s report card, which the state is legally required to have published, but which education officials don’t agree with philosophically. The department released a report card shortly before the holidays. Much like their colleagues in Texas, Alabama’s district administrators say the grades don’t accurately reflect their districts’ performance.

Recently appointed Alabama state Superintendent Michael Sentance told Al.com that he doesn’t agree with letter grades for school districts because he’s seen the destructive impact such grades have had on the reputation of public schools in other states.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires that states redesign and more frequently publish their state report cards, but it doesn’t specify a particular format, such as A-F letter grades.

A version of this article appeared in the January 11, 2017 edition of Education Week as District Leaders Protest State A-F Grading Mandates for Schools

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Every Student Succeeds Act Republicans Tell Miguel Cardona His Plan for ESSA Waivers Seems to Violate the Law
The Every Student Succeeds Act doesn't permit the education secretary to seek certain data he's asking for, the two GOP lawmakers say.
4 min read
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, left, listens as Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, center, speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17, 2021.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, left, listens as Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, center, speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17, 2021.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Every Student Succeeds Act How Will ESSA Hold Up During COVID-19? Pandemic Tests the Law's Resilience
Lawmakers designed ESSA to limit mandates covering issues like how tests are used. Will that affect how well the law survives the pandemic?
6 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act Betsy DeVos Tells States Not to Expect Waivers From Annual Tests
The tests required by federal law are crucial to helping schools respond to the coronavirus pandemic and help vulnerable students, the education secretary said in a letter to chief state school officers.
3 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act Top DeVos Deputy: Our 'Instinct' Is to Not Give States Testing Waivers Next Year
"Accountability aside, we need to know where students are so we can address their needs," Assistant Secretary of Education Jim Blew said during remarks at the Education Writers Association's National Seminar.
3 min read