Conflicts within the Grading System
New grading systems within school districts offer parents a more accurate glimpse into the individual performance of schools much better than national test scores alone. In some states, these grades incorporate a number of factors, which might include standardized test scores, attendance and graduation rates, among others. Parents say the grades are important for helping them choose the best schools for their children. Schools, on the other hand, are concerned that this information may not be an accurate reflection of an individual school’s performance.
Another concern is that new grading systems had to be implemented much too quickly to provide a real snapshot into the performance of an individual school. The fast deadlines, combined with more rigorous standards, may reflect an inaccurate assessment of the number of underperforming schools in any district. Some states are also in the process of creating new, statewide standardized tests, and current scores will not reflect the new standards. In the midst of the debate are the students who will determine, by their performance, which schools in the state will get the highest rankings.
Rankings May Confuse Parents in Wisconsin
- Improvement in state achievement scores
- Achievement in reading and math
- Closing of achievement gaps within student sub-groups
- Readiness for high school graduation and rigors of higher education