TAKE ACTION! Tell lawmakers to shift away from system that grades school performance based on poverty

The NC House introduced a new bill this week that addresses school performance in a way that will improve what up until now has been a deeply flawed system.

House Bill 322 would increase the weight of growth in proficiency to 50% of school grades, which would be an improvement in what's known as the A-F model — one that overall undervalues student learning and growth. Currently schools are assigned A-F grades based primarily on raw student test scores (counting for 80% of the grade), which has led school grades to be correlated overwhelmingly with poverty rates.

Low- income schools inherently do worse on this measure because they educate larger proportions of at-risk students, students with disabilities, and children who trail behind their more affluent peers before they have ever set foot in a classroom. By failing to adequately consider growth in student learning, the A-F grading system assigns these schools with D or F grades that function as a scarlet letter, harming the morale of students and staff in schools that are making gains in student learning but serve more disadvantaged populations.

While there are problems with the A-F model and a more diverse range of school of performance indicators would be preferable, focusing on student growth is a big step forward in grading schools fairly.

TAKE ACTION! Contact your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB 322 and improve the A-F school grading system!

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