This strange bell curve idea just brings home how absurd this grading system is
for education. For some reason legislators need to have someone fail. It's
like if we were the audience watching the amazing runners at the Olympic
marathon finish their race, and then we all stood and pointed fingers of shame
at those runners who didn't make it on to the medal stand because, well,
they're the "losers". Because we have to have losers and winners
so we know who to like. Real educators know and believe that there are no
losers in their classrooms, just wildly different and unique individuals who are
all running their "race", sometimes, their way, but hopefully towards a
finish line. And real educators are at that finish line cheering for each one
as they make it across, not the just the perfect few.
@Mamma C:Schools should be locally run.Grading be done
by teachers with the use of report cards.The results come from
students who become adults.
Schools should not be accountable to bureaucrats and politicians but to local
parents and local taxpayers. School grading is intimately connected with Common
Core testing; everyone is forced to look through the same narrow window at what
is supposedly (defined by whom?) most important.
I propose that all legislators must have 95% of all votes cast for that office
to become a legislator and once in office they must have 95% approval ratiings
or they must resign as a failed legislator.
The observation that essentially all Utah students take the ACT test and still
have an average score of 21 is far more significant than one sees at first
glance. Most states have less than half their students take the ACT. The
combination of these two pieces of data suggests that the average Utah student
performance is approximately equal to the average performance of the top half of
students nationally. That is really quite a tribute to the Utah
school system, given the ridiculously low level of funding that our legislature
ManInTheMiddle:Not all states test ALL their students in the ACT.
Utah is one of several states that did so and I think was the top of those.
Perhaps the state where you came from only tested those who were college bound,
of course the scores would be higher. Still, Utah has some major issues and I
agree with some of your assessments. And if things like class size and teacher
morale aren't addressed soon, things will get bad in a hurry.As
for hypocrisy of the letter grade, point sort of taken. However, I doubt most
teachers actually grade their students based on one test, unless you would like
them too. They would probably look at assignments, participation, quizzes,
projects, etc. to determine an overall grade or learning.So if I was
the educational czar ha ha, I might look at test scores (not much) but also
graduation rates, scholarship monies earned by graduates, extracurricular
opportunities and success, student reviews of the school, parent reviews of the
school, dare I say teacher reviews of the school. Basically a VARIETY of
factors, not just one single and probably very faulty assessment.
ManIn TheMiddle,I am a high school teacher in Utah. Where do you get your
info from? My students and school are great. Why don't you come visit one
of utah's "awful" schools and see for yourself. I just checked the
national average for the ACT. It is 21.
Grading schools,-is controlling schools. Deleting creativity.Keep it
simple!Schools are for teaching, and learning. It's our best
chance of stopping, and reversing our move into poverty.
"Associate State Superintendent Judy Park ... said there are several metrics
that illustrate a school's success or failure that cannot easily be
simplified into a single A or F letter grade."Now there is
irony. Or hypocrisy. Not sure which.
"to falsely label schools as failing"I don't get this
mentality in UT. UT schools are awful. Take it from an North East transplant.
AWFUL!!!An average ACT of 21 - really??? A 43% dropout rate for
HIspanics. Only 32% of 8th graders are proficient readers.How many more
stats do I need to list. AWFUL!!!!
The grading schools bill SB-271 passed 38-36 in the house and also by a narrow
margin in the senate. It's a bill that had flaws from the beginning that
never seemed to be fully addressed. One of the big flaws is that schools are put
on a bell curve with grades meaning there will a few A's, a few more
B's, mostly C's, some D's, and some F's. Even if all schools
were excellent and deserved A's, there's no way with the law to show
that. I think about the unfairness of grading schools when I fly. If
pilots were graded on a bell curve, would you want to fly with one who got an F.
But if he passed all his flight exams with A's based on specific critera
for flying and better yet landing, the F would only mean there were other pilots
that may do it a little bit better but he still would do it well enough to be
safe. The F would be an injustice to him because it wouldn't represent his
skills only his ranking with the best of the best.
This is not a bad idea, but the grading rubric that has been implemented is
horrible. It is very unscientific. In high school they track student's
progress by tracking their test scores from grade to grade. They compare
freshman biology to sophomore chemistry and so on. It encourages schools to
have their freshmen perform poorly so they can show improvement later on, even
if the classes become harder. Many other parts of the system are also flawed.
This is a setup for the privatizers in the legislature to falsely label schools
as failing so they can swoop in and turn the schools over to private management
companies. Senator Niederhauser says that tweaks need to be made already.
Why was a bad law passed in the first place? Florida was mentioned.
They have changed their formula 30 times. Former Indiana Supt.and now Former
Florida Supt. Tony Bennett changed a grade for a charter school for a campaign
contributor. This is a bad law and everyone needs to contact their
legislators to get it repealed.