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Utah lawmakers give final approval to this year’s school-grading overhaul

First Published      Last Updated Mar 08 2017 10:09 am

A seven-year tradition of passing school grading bills continued Wednesday when the Utah Senate gave the final vote of approval for SB220.

The new proposal, which awaits the signature of Gov. Gary Herbert, creates a report card listing various performance metrics in addition to labeling schools with a single grade of A, B, C, D or F.

Under SB220, the calculation for grades would place greater emphasis on student performance growth, and would be expanded to include additional metrics beyond standardized test scores. And each grade level would be tied to a set of criteria, eliminating the grading curve that sees schools punished based on statewide trends.




School grading was first proposed and approved in 2011, and the law has been amended each subsequent year.

On Tuesday, SB220 was amended in the House to place a one-year moratorium on letter grades while the new criteria and report card system are developed. That amendment was described as a compromise measure to earn the support of the House, which last month voted to end the practice of grading schools.

"If we don't pass a bill through both bodies this year," Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane said Tuesday, "we end up with what we have right now. And I believe that of all the options out there, that is the worst."

Without debate, the Senate voted 25-3 Wednesday morning to concur with the House changes.

bwood@sltrib.com

Twitter: @bjaminwood

 

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