State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley recommends a major change in the way public schools are rated each year, and the new rules could halve the number of schools rated D and F due to ‘a more generous rating system.
The new rules have already been approved by the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents.
The State Council for Primary and Secondary Education is expected to discuss the proposal on June 15-16.
Critics argue that the change would weaken the way the state assesses student performance and make schools look better than they are simply by adopting a less rigorous grading system.
The change would focus on annual school performance scores, which determine the most important scores for public schools and school districts.
In the first report cards since the standards were tightened, Louisiana’s share of A-rated public schools slipped while those with Fs increased, ac…
Previously, scores were largely based on student performance on key tests.
Since 2017, student growth – whether students are meeting learning goals and how they stack up against their peers – has accounted for 25% of the score.
Brumley wants to increase that calculation of student growth to 38%, which state officials say is the national average.
“We agree that more emphasis should be placed on the growth part,” he told superintendents on Thursday.
Kathy Noel, deputy assistant superintendent for assessments, accountability and analysis, said Louisiana is in the bottom quartile of states when it comes to credit they give students for annual academic earnings.
Noel said the simulations show that about 50% of the state’s public schools rated D and F would improve an alphabetical grade according to the new grades.
A total of 23% of public schools were rated D or F in 2019, the latest snapshot.
This could be cut in half with the new scoring system.
Almost half of Louisiana’s public schools – 44% – require radical upgrades and about 45,000 students attend F-rated schools, staff …
Brumley noted that the School Accountability Commission, which advises BESE, recommended that student growth account for 47.5% of scores.
Wes Watts, president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, welcomed the proposed change.
“I think that makes a lot of sense,” said Watts, school district superintendent for West Baton Rouge Parish.
Public school grades have been the subject of argument since their debut in 2011.
Funders say they are giving parents and others an easy-to-understand way to see how schools are doing.
Opponents say school results and grades are misleading.
The new rules, if approved by BESE, would come into effect for the 2021-22 school year.
Louisiana students will be resuming the tests soon, but how will the exam results be used?
State education officials have not decided whether public schools will get alphabetical grades for the 2020-21 school year.
Check back with The Advocate for more details.