SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers in the Utah Senate showed early support Wednesday for a bill that would change the way the state's controversial school grades are calculated.
SB209, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, would exclude alternative high schools, new schools and students with an individualized learning program from the calculation of school grades. The bill would also penalize schools with a low testing participation with a single letter grade deduction, rather than the current F grade those schools automatically receive.
During debate on the bill, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said two high schools in his Senate district — West High and Viewmont High — were penalized with an F grade. He said school grades, which were released for the first time last year, are a step in the right direction, and SB209 further improves the process of assessing school performance.
"This bill fixes that problem," Weiler said.
But Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay, spoke against school grading. She said individual schools manage unique challenges with unique resources — such as areas with high refugee and at-risk populations, and schools that receive federal grants — but are evaluated under a uniform standard of criteria.
"I just hate comparing schools that have more advantages than others," Jones said.
The bill was approved on second reading in a 17-8 vote. It will be read and voted on a third time prior to advancing to the House for consideration.
— Benjamin Wood
- Utah delegation urges Obama to refrain from...
- Millcreek man found dead near Saltair was...
- Lee, Stewart urge action on behalf of BYU...
- Manti man indicted in Oregon occupation;...
- State: EPA didn't clue in Utah on San Juan...
- BYU's first physics grad earns posthumous Grammy
- 'He was large, he was angry, he was bloody,'...
- Charges: Man murdered woman who had been...
- Manti man indicted in Oregon... 35
- Survivor of Trolley Square massacre... 32
- Utah delegation urges Obama to refrain... 28
- IRS raids properties with possible... 21
- Lee, Stewart urge action on behalf of... 18
- Should Utah have 'blended sentences'... 14
- Ex-judge asks Obama to commute sentence... 14
- Salt Lake County may downsize, close... 12