Grades With Consequences

Legislation passed last year requires NC Department of Public Instruction to grade every public school in the state with A, B, C, D, and F.  The goal was to use some grading system the general public could understand. Most folks generally understand an “A” is good, and “F” is failing. In my house anything under a “B” was an automatic meeting with the teacher!

As DPI grapples with grading schools and getting it ready to roll out at the end of the 2013 school year. Virginia is considering doing the same concept, grading schools; however, they are also suggesting direct consequences for failing schools.

“They would leave the purview of their home districts and join a new statewide division focused on turning around failing schools. The Opportunity Educational Institution would have widespread authority to make staffing, curriculum and program changes, and to contract with an outside “school turnaround” firm.

While the Department of Education already requires schools that don’t receive accreditation to partner with one of those companies, some aren’t seeing improvement because they’re not implementing all the firm’s recommendations, Deputy Secretary of Education Javaid Siddiqi said.”

Of course the GOMs (Gatekeepers of Mediocrity) cry out against such harsh treatment.

“The problem with labeling schools is just like labeling individuals: It never gives you the full picture of what’s going on,” said Meg Gruber, president of the Virginia Education Association. “It’s just a one-time snapshot and trying to simplify a very, very complex system.”

The VEA and other education groups also rallied against the Opportunity Educational Institution, calling it a “school takeover” effort that gives local educators no say in what happens to their schools.

It boggles the mind how long the GOMs will defend failure year after year!

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