Lawmakers discuss possible tweaks to controversial school grading law

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 20, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    I'm further afraid that the grading mechanisms are faulty and shallow. Let's take a secondary school. One could truly judge a school by its test scores, its graduation rates, and the number of its graduates that go to college and scholarship money per student gained. You could it grade it on AP test results, SAT scores, ACT scores etc. Or you could further evaluate it on its sports programs, its performing arts programs, parent satisfaction, student satisfaction and even teacher satisfaction. You see, the state is using only a small amount of variables. Schools are more complex and using test results on what is surely evaluations of low level learning does not give an accurate picture of a school.

    Also, no one year of students in a school is the same. Wouldn't it be best to evaluate a school, even with these horrendous methods being employed, over say three years? Or might it be best to take a cohort of students through 2-3 years to see if they improve indicating that the school was making an impact. But just taking a single snapshot tells very little.

    All in all, a bad plan by our legislature--no surprise there.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 20, 2013 6:05 p.m.

    Chuck E. Racer speaks the truth. Involved parents make a huge a difference and let's face it, some private schools along with public and charter schools in affluent areas will grade well while lesser affluent schools won't make the grade. It won't be that their teachers and systems are any better, but in reality it will be about socio-economic factors. Then these schools not making the grade will get penalized as well as their teachers leading again to a counterproductive solution to better education, especially in areas of our state that need support.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    In grading a school, it needs to be clear that the grade is a reflection of the community as much or usually more than the school employees. The school only has the kids one-fourth of the day - 6/24 hours - and the most important years of the student's life, which predict how well they will do, happen before they are at school! School employees can only do so much.

    This whole grading legislation seems mostly to find ways to punish schools, not improve them.