Today the Senate Education Committee passed Sen. Phil Berger’s (R-Rockingham) SB 361 – the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2013. The bill is similar in scope to the Senator’s 2012 legislation and calls for the end of teacher tenure and further specifications on the A-F school grading system and teacher licensure (see my previous post on the breakdown of the bill).
Sen. Josh Stein pressed Berger on his A-F school grading system, pointing out the fact that the changes made to how schools are graded still do not account for student growth on test scores. Instead, there is a separate measure that is not factored into a school’s grade but instead stands next to it.
Stein noted that 12 other states employ the A-F grading system, including Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Ten of those 12 states factor a school’s growth into their grades. “In Florida, two-thirds of the grade comes from school improvement,” Stein said. “Can we adjust to Florida’s model,” Stein asked?
Berger explained that the growth score was a “subjective analysis” and that two separate scores would be more transparent for parents. Read More…