A letter grade for each of Utah's schools

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  • raybies Layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    1. Lets grade our legislature. That's fine, it is still a good thing we're grading our schools.

    2. Why not make teachers individually take these tests? Garantee they understand the material they're expected to convey to their students at whatever grade level they teach. I would love something like that too... it is still a good thing we're grading our schools.

    3. This isn't about having sympathy for schools that struggle. It's about getting results in a world where if you fail at education you fail at having a life and SEVERELY depress your kid's future.

    I don't care how much you believe your school is exceptional, if you can't meet basic state standards, which are what these tests look at, then you've got a problem. Employers can only hire so many employees with "special needs", so why are we defending a school system that's convinced they're all in that category!?

    It's time there was more accountability in education, maybe we can get help to those regions failing. If I failed a class, that would tell me something about my own education. Why doesn't it work both ways?

  • rubytulip Sandy, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:09 p.m.

    As a retired educator, I have one thing to write: Have the legislators who make up these new bills spend one week ALONE in a classroom in a school in a poor economic area. Have them go to a high school where 48 kids are in one English class (yes, that was my situation the last year I taught), 36 desks, a behavioral problem or two or three or....and THEN (maybe) let them figure out how to "grade" schools.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:17 p.m.

    This "grading" system is about what I expected from a part-time lobby entrenched legislature. Millions of dollars in infrastructure, salaries and years of experience are in play, and the best the legislature can come up with is a letter grade?

    I suggest that a report, signed by the author/evaluator of about two to three pages in length that addresses: the applicable test score results; years experience of management (Leaders are hard to come by so we settle for managers) in each school; the faculty's experience and academic preparation for the subjects they teach; the socioeconomic make up of student population; and history of faculty and management turnover.

    Interviews with present and past PTA officials and a review of the minutes and actions by the applicable school board regarding major problems raised by faculty, management and public.

    This data can be summarized into a report that addresses major areas of success and needed improvement. No letter grade is to be given but a comment on the school's ability to meet the goals and standards set for education of the students.

    The report should also comment on the effectiveness of management, and school board in their roles.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    I wish teachers were as cute and attentive as the one in this article when I was in school.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Yes we can grade our legislature. Vote them out at the next election. It's time.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    Merely just another article which is trying to brainwash our state into falling for the vouchers.

    Our legislature bought off by special interest groups just won't give up until they get what they want.

  • salty dog BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    Your fawning articles on Jeb Bush and Senator Neiderhauser (he certainly is not a statesman like former Senate President Lane Beatie) greatly disappoint me.
    It is very difficult to grade a low income school with a high percentage:
    - low income,
    - free or reduced lunch
    - english as a second language
    A great teacher and school may make great improvement and still fail, while an idiot could teach in a wealthy school -
    yet the special interests in the Legislature harp on grading schools - how about our legislature gets an F for funding since we pay the least per student? Why not mention the State of Florida (since you fawn over Gov. Bush) has a constitutional amendment limiting class size to Amendment 8 caps enrollment in core courses at 18 students in Grades K–3, 21 students in Grades 4–8, and 25 students in Grades 9–12.
    Does Senate President Neiderhauser plan on retiring once he qualifies for lifetime medical benefits like many other legislators?

  • Pack Layton, Utah
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    How about a letter grade for each parent.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Irony Guy,
    I think it's pretty obvious that a legislature would never get very good grades, partly because anything they do is opposed by ~50% of the people and for sure 50% of the politicos out there who will oppose anything the other party does (regardless of what side is doing something).

    Legislatures (which are inextricably "political") can't be effectively graded. Because of the politics involved.

    But I think Congress would obviously get an F. Only about 10% of the population likes what they are doing (which isn't a good sign). You would think at least 50% of the people would like the job Congress is doing. I mean... we ELECTED them!

    Maybe one good way to grade our legislators would be to vote them out IF we think they are failing. But that won't happen. Because people are too afraid THEIR party will lose prestige or power IF they don't support one of their incumbents. So BOTH sides just keep sending the same people.

    But if you want to grade legislators.. about the only mechanism we have is... elections.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    Can teachers then put letter grades for the parent? And if the parent doesn't meet a certain requirement, be held accountable for tax returns and food stamps? That'll encourage parents to get involved more than anything else!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    How about a letter grade for the Utah legislature, which keeps our educational funding at the lowest level in the USA?

    Sept. 3, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Isn't it kind of pointless to give a school a grade based on last year's performance, when a great deal of the staff has changed, and it's after the new year has started and it's pretty much too late to base any decisions on the information?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    How about a letter grade for each TEACHER?

    Giving the whole school a letter grade (but not each teacher) makes about as much sense as giving the whole class a letter grade (but not each student).

    It's possible there are outstanding performing students in a class that on average is getting a C, just as there may be teachers that are excelling in a school that overall is not performing up to their level.

    I would think parents would want to know which teachers are excelling, not just that their school is failing. It's not like I'm going to pull my kids from one school and take them to another based on the school's grade. But they can try to get the good teachers.

    Also... IF we grade schools. Would we grade on the curve? Meaning average schools will get a C and only a few will get an A? Or can they all get an A? And if they can all get an A... what objective grading criteria exists (to avoid grade inflation)?