State Board of Education Does Not Support A-F Grades for Schools

The State Board of Education does not support organizations using the Washington State Achievement Index to issue a series of A – F- grades for schools. We believe that the Achievement Index provides valuable information about a school’s performance, but we believe it is only part of the story, and not sufficient to label an individual school a failure.

We are particularly troubled by the designation of an “F-” grade, which doesn’t exist in any real sense, and comes across as a gratuitous effort to demean the hard work that schools are doing. A letter grade does not do justice to the complexity of school performance and increases the risk of alienation and demoralization for schools.

Each year, the State Board of Education and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction analyze school performance data through the Achievement Index. It’s the only statewide school accountability system recognized by both the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and State Board of Education.

The Achievement Index measures student proficiency in math, reading, writing and science, student growth, and college and career readiness.  It identifies high-performing schools for recognition and low-performing schools for support. The Index emphasizes improvement and recognition, not punishment.  An A-F grading system oversimplifies school data, and it doesn’t do justice to schools working hard to serve students in a number of areas.


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2 Responses to State Board of Education Does Not Support A-F Grades for Schools

  1. I can’t agree more. It should be centered/labeled towards the level of support provided by the state.

  2. Brandi says:

    What would be an alternative to the A-F grades. The number grades in Elementary I would pray is not the solution being thought of as that does not allow parents to really know how their kid(s) is/are doing. I like the A-F grades, but if the idea that is brought forward helps us parents and students rather than creates more kids graduating and pushed forward such as the no child left behind act, I would like to hear more about the possible change.

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