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Friday, January 11, 2008

It ain't easy grading schools

Yesterday EdWeek released their annual Quality Counts
<> edition. Each
year EdWeek grades states in six categories and gave U.S. schools as a
whole a middle of the road C. New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland
earned the highest grades with a B while five states received a D+.
Although West Virginia received an F in the K-12 Achievement category it
still received a B-, ranking 6th among all the states. This is likely
due to the A's they achieved in the standards, assessments and
accountability, and school finance categories. How can this be? How can
a state's overall grade by so high when they received an F in K-12
Once again, these results show how difficult it is to assign one grade
to schools, not only at the state level but even when evaluating
individual schools. There is no one score or grade that can possibly
identify all the areas where schools excel and the areas they need to
work on. That's why it is important to look at the whole school, not
just an overall grade or ranking. BoardBuzz knows that educating
children is much more complicated than that.
That is why our friends at the Center for Public Education
<> been working on a great new
resource to help school board members, educators, parents, policymakers,
and the media look beyond simple test scores so they can get a more
complete picture of their local schools. The Center isn't going to
attempt to grade schools like EdWeek but it will inform readers of which
measures they should look at to get a better picture of their own
school's success. These measures go beyond student achievement to
include student attainment, school climate, staffing, and funding among
others. For all those interested in public schools, look for this
important resource in the coming weeks at
<> .
For a complete a summary of the Quality Counts
<> check out the
Center for Public Education <> BoardBuzz also recommends you
take a look at the Center's Round-up of National Report Cards
D76/Roundup_of_National_Education_Report_Cards.htmto find out how other
report cards graded your state and why the grade isn't likely to be
consistent across all report cards.

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