Thank you for highlighting Utah's new system of grading public schools ("Utah assigns grades to all schools, but controversy lingers," Sept. 3).

While Utah must work together to ensure careful implementation and practical grading criteria, this new accountability program is a step in the right direction for Utah's education stakeholders.

By giving every school an easy-to-understand letter-grade ranking, the state has created the simplest and clearest representation of how schools truly are performing — both good and bad.

In the new age of accountability in public schools, teachers are embracing policies that promote transparency and results. According to a membership survey by the Association of American Educators here in Utah, 89 percent of teachers surveyed support services such as GreatSchools. These policies and organizations allow stakeholders to search and compare schools in their area via letter grades.

While improving schools is a complex issue, we must embrace accountability and transparency in our public schools.

Charity Smith

Salt Lake City