school grading

Grades evaluating the performance of Utah schools were released today, but they won’t be all that useful to parents who want to compare the results to last year. This year’s grades were calculated based on SAGE, the states’ new year-end student assessment.

Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he supports school grading, but he says a single letter grade isn’t enough information to determine how well a school is performing. Herbert was speaking at his monthly televised news conference on KUED.

Governor Herbert says it’s important to have an accountability system that clearly illustrates a schools successes and weaknesses. He says his education advisor Tami Pyfer has come up with an alternative system that would do that.

Foxy1219 via Wikimedia Commons

Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s education advisor is working to replace Utah’s two school accountability systems with one easy-to-read, yearly report card. The newest school grading system received mostly negative responses when letter grades were first released last fall.

Utah’s school accountability systems use factors like end of year tests, student growth and graduation rates to show how schools are performing. School grading assigns letter grades A through F and the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System or UCAS grades schools based on a 600-point-scale.

State lawmakers in the Senate Education committee voted unanimously Monday morning to support proposed changes to the controversial school grading system. Republican Senator Stuart Adams’ bill would provide additional flexibility for schools, including the option to opt out of the system.

Last fall, Utah schools received, for the first time letter grades “A” through “F” under the state’s second and newest grading system. Senator Stuart Adams says it’s has already increased transparency.

Schools across Utah for the first time have been issued a single letter grade for their performance. According to the results of a new school grading system, released this morning, more than half of the state’s public schools got an A or a B, while the rest got C’s D’s or F’s. The education community responded this morning by calling the new system poor policy. But lawmakers contend it shines a light on poor-performing public schools.

On Tuesday, schools in Utah will be getting evaluation grades A through F to indicate how well their students are performing. Many in the education community say it will be giving parents the wrong impression about some schools. But Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser says it will make assessing schools more accurate and transparent.

Critics say the new letter grading system for school performance that was passed into law earlier this year is so narrow in its calculations that it will appear as though schools are doing worse than they are.