Follow AAE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

A to F Grading Scales are Raising the Bar in Public Education
posted by: Alana | July 28, 2014, 02:29 PM   

A to F school grading systems are bringing a whole new level of accountability to public education as indicated by the 4th official release of school grades in New Mexico this past week.

After an intense evaluation of school improvement in areas such as student math, reading comprehension, and graduation rates, it was discovered that 95 schools raised their scores more than 2 letter grades since school grades were first calculated in New Mexico in 2011.

For the second year in a row, the number of A and B rated schools outnumbered the number of C and D rated schools in the state.

Overall, 88 schools (or 10.4%) received an “A” (which is the most since the school grading program was launched), 244 schools (or 28.9%) got a “B”, 188 schools (or 22.3%) received a “C”, 230 schools (or 27.3%) got a “D”, and 93 schools (or 11%) received an “F”.

According to the data, the greatest level of progress was seen in elementary and middle schools where children spend the most fundamental years of their learning and developing lives.

In fact students in New Mexico, on average, are making an additional three months’ worth of progress in reading and math during the 9 month school year since the A-F school grading program was first implemented according to Standards Based Assessment (SBA) results.

A to F grading scales are raising the bar in public education because…let’s face it…no one is satisfied with a C grade. Or even a B. The practice is ushering a new era of accountability and transparency in our public schools.

Not only are students in A-F rated states and districts getting a better education from the competition that this system has created among each school, but all stakeholders are now able to distinguish, in an immediately understandable way, which schools are doing a good job, which are failing, and which need to work harder to improve.

With just the click of a mouse, parents are able to check-in and see the readily available results online. And they have! Over a million times since the results were first launched in fact!

So far the A-F system has been adopted in 15 states. All of which are finding similar results.

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. This new system will shed light on the education reform debate and allow parents and community members to have easily understandable benchmarks. An informed and engaged public will be instrumental in improving schools in the future.

In the new age of accountability in public schools, teachers are also embracing policies that promote transparency and results. According to AAE's National Membership Survey, 89% of teachers surveyed support services such as GreatSchools. These programs and organizations allow stakeholders to search and compare schools in their area via letter grades.

Teachers are, in fact, supportive of policies that easily identify schools based on performance. Although improving schools is a complex issue, our members are embracing these policies like never before.

Do you think an A to F grading scale for schools promotes transparency and results?
Comment Below.


Please Note: A former version of this blog had a factual error that has since been corrected.



Comments (2)Add Comment
Inaccurate Facts: Author Needs to Look at Data More Carefully
written by Karla, Albuquerque Public Schools, NM, July 28, 2014

The author of this article posted inaccurate information. In my district (Albuquerque Public Schools) alone there were 14 schools receiving an F. The article stated there were none in our state. Hmm..?
Board Certified Teacher
written by Karla, Albuquerque Public Schools, NM, July 28, 2014

What?!! I am a teacher in Albuquerque and I am appalled with the misinformation in this article. The grading system that was devised is so complicated and convoluted that it is impossible for top mathematicians to decode exactly what schools are being graded on. In my district the grades show improvement but if you look at student standardized tests scores have been mostly flat with very little gains and significant losses in student scores. This grading system is far from transparent. It has destroyed morale in my state. It is really a money and time wasting tool that is meaningless and does nothing to improve education.

Submit a comment
 (not published)
smaller | bigger

security code
Write the displayed characters