The performance of a school is little more than the sum of the performance of its students. SB59, School Grading System, would provide clear accountability and transparency for student performance by grading schools A-F, based on both student proficiency and student academic growth – performance gains – in the core academic subjects.
This would make the reporting of student performance simple, transparent and easy to understand.
“When performance is measured, performance improves,” bill sponsor Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, told lawmakers. He said assigning letter grades to schools would help lawmakers and the public know whether changes they make to education are improving schools and give parents a clear way to understand schools’ performance. He said not enough people understand the current U-PASS system. He said assigning school grades would “help parents, students and legislators all try to mine down to figure out what we can do with this information to help achieve a greater outcome.” (School grading bill graduates to Senate – Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 3, 2011) As the House Sponsor, I concur wholeheartedly with my Senate colleague’s characterization of SB59.
Grading schools on the same scale as students, A-F, provides an accountability system that establishes a transparent path for improvement.
With a clear and achievable goal, school-board members, administrators, principals, teachers and parents can organize themselves around achieving it. Gone are the cryptic descriptors that leave parents and the public bewildered about the quality of schools. No one has to explain the difference between an A and an F!
It’s simple, clear, and concise. Public education needs to be transparent about how the students they have been charged with educating are performing and then once we have that information, we can delve deeper to assess the contributing factors and come together to address them with solutions.
When’s the last time your local public school informed you – as a customer, parent, taxpayer – about the quality of their student outcomes?
We all have a right to know whether or not our students are actually gaining sufficient subject mastery and are proficient in the required core academic subjects.
That is the premise behind grading our schools with a letter grade of A-F – simple, transparent, and easy to understand.