The Lima News recently ran an editorial on “No Need to change how schools graded.” If the editorial board of a newspaper can oversimplify and misrepresent the intent of the grading system, how are parents supposed to sort out how the school is performing?
As a parent I wanted to know if my kids were learning what they were supposed to. Does “average” convey that concept? I think a parent wants to know if the school taught all it was supposed to, and if the student learned what that grade required. To me, that means, say a 5th grade student learned all the key concepts required in 5th grade. The school then receives a “meets expectation” designation as set by the state board of education.
Let us also consider “F for failing” versus “need support.” There is a difference between a student failing and how the school is performing. If the school is F-rated, is the school failing or is the community failing and needs support to help the school improve? To understand this concept, we do have to accept that statistical data for both Ohio and the nation, reflects that failing schools are in impoverished communities caused by a host of community issues. The Ohio House of Representatives, who proposed this bipartisan change, and recognized that if the school is struggling the community is struggling.
Personally, I favor this type of legislation because it changes the conversation and addresses information parents and communities need for their school system to improve. Ultimately, the goal of the new grading system is to start need conversations in the community.