Grading the graders

Published September 7, 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

The grades are in for Utah schools. While more than half received an A or B, almost half did not. This grade is based on a very small set of criteria, created by the Utah State Legislature.

Schools are graded on test scores from three core subjects and the improvement on those tests each year.

This simplified score does not consider things like special education populations or students' inability to read at grade level and many other factors. That would complicate things.

Let's try to apply this simple formula to the Utah Legislature to see how well they do. If we were to only look at their level of achievement in passing a law against the advice of lawyers that it will be ruled unconstitutional. Then, spending millions of taxpayer dollars to defend it, knowing they will lose.

Looks like they earned an A. But wait, it's not good to do this well.

Maybe a bad grade for a school under this system is actually a good thing.

Nicholas M. Bielaczyc

Salt Lake City