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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

‘Dashboards’ replace A-F school grades

It’s getting harder to hold schools accountable for performance writes Lane Wright on Education Post. The Education Department’s new ESSA guidelines don’t require states to give each school a single, overall score for performance.

Instead of a proposed A-F school grading system, Michigan will use a dashboard with different measures of school quality but no overall grade, reports Michigan Live.

The proposed A-F grading system was based upon six categories: student proficiency, student growth, graduation rate, progress among students with a limited grasp of English, school quality/student success, and assessment participation. Each category would include an individual grade, which would sum up to an overall grade.

Giving each school a single performance grade is just “one snapshot” without the details parents need “to select the best school,” said Chris Wigent, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

Without an overall grade, dashboards make it hard to compare schools, Wright writes. “You’d have to pull the scores on individual measures (e.g., student growth, graduation rate, etc.) for each school and compare point-by-point.”

Michigan isn’t the only state that’s making school accountability more complex — and harder for parents to understand.

Florida legislators propose to “wipe out the research-based test that tells everyone if schools and teachers are helping students make academic progress,” writes Wright.

His bottom line: “Simple straightforward school grades empower parents.”

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