Some Ohio school districts are unhappy with a proposal from state education officials and state lawmakers to change how schools are graded. Most schools that earn an A or A+, B or C under the current grading system would see their state grade drop under the new, proposed system.
Toledo is one of the unhappy school districts. Toledo gets a “C” under the current system, but would get an “F” under the new system. That doesn’t make the Toledo school board happy, the Toedo Blade reports:
Board members unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday criticizing the new scale and called on the state to delay its implementation… ”We have no problem with being held accountable,” board member Bob Vasquez said. “The problem that we have is that every time there seems to be a change in administration, they change the way they evaluate.”
(For the record, Toledo met five out of 26 state performance standards last year. The district’s state report card from last year also looks at student growth in reading and math for fourth through eighth grade. For math, students in every grade level made less than the expected amount of progress, i.e., learned a year’s worth of math skills and content. For reading, students in most grade levels made the expected amount of progress.)
The new school grading system is part of a package of changes related to the federal No Child Left Behind Act that Ohio officials are proposing to the U.S. Department of Education. The new system still needs to be approved by the feds and by state lawmakers.
The Columbus Dispatch says that some state lawmakers are also questioning the need for the new school grading system:
“I don’t think I’ve ever had one parent say to me they didn’t understand our rating system,” [state Sen. Gayle] Manning said.
Florida officials recently proposed a new, tougher grading system. (Like Ohio, part of the reason they proposed this new system was to get a waiver from some parts of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.)
Florida’s new grading system would automatically fail schools where at least one in four students are not reading at grade level, our colleagues at StateImpact Florida report. Other changes would affect how the performance of students with disabilities and students learning English is counted.
But in the face of opposition from parents and district leaders, the Florida State Board of Education is already considering a proposal to give schools a break:
The new proposal would act as a circuit breaker, and Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson explained that no school could drop more than one letter grade.