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School grading system gets failing grade

Published October 5, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah State Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said repeatedly in a recent interview that the legislature is seeking "clarity" in their grading system of public schools.

The current grading system misses that mark completely. What clarity is there in a system that gives a single letter grade to a complex system that teaches many subjects including the arts, social sciences, character education, technology, etc.? The legislative grade is based on very limited measurements that exclude most subjects taught in our public schools. It excludes progress calculations. It even excludes Advanced Placement pass rates.

The public can already access a great deal of information on schools, including annual test scores, and we're smart enough to interpret this information. A simplistic, inaccurate single letter grade adds no clarity whatsoever.

John Allen

North Salt Lake