Local School District Fighting New A-F Grading System - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Local School District Fighting New A-F Grading System

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GUNTER, TX and DURANT, OK—Administrators with a local school district said they plan to fight a new statewide grading system. They say it devalues public schools. Gunter ISD isn’t alone in their fight against the A-F Grading System for Texas school, set to take effect in 2018.

Gunter ISD Superintendent Jill Siler is sending Texas lawmakers a message. “What we do not want is an inaccurate measure or reflection of our schools,” she said.

She started #MoreThanAGrade on Twitter to take a stand against the new A-F grading system for districts and schools in Texas.

The state released “what if” grades based on the 2015-2016 school year last week to show the ratings districts would’ve had if the system were in place right now.

Districts received grades in four categories: student achievement, closing performance gaps, post secondary readiness, and student progress.

Gunter ISD earned substandard marks, scoring a “C” in student progress and post secondary readiness.  

Who would want a c, d, or f to be their school district?” Siler asked. “And with that I feel we're going to have classrooms and teachers revert back to that test focus teaching which is absolutely not what our students need.”

Siler said grading a school district based on how students perform on state standardized tests is an unfair measure of student’s academic talents.

“For a school district to take one test on one day and to say that’s what that rating is and over 55% of that rating will be based on that one test is inaccurate,” she said.

Some students said the new system adds unnecessary stress.

“I mean to realize that your entire high school is going to be judged based off of one answer sheet, it definitely puts a lot of pressure on the students,”  said Gunter High School Senior Alex Hales.

Siler said a major flaw in the system is that the ratings reflect poverty.

 “70 percent of schools that have low poverty received an A or B and almost 70 percent of the students that have high poverty received a C,D, or F,”  she said.

Oklahoma implement a similar program back in 2011, called the Report Grading System. However, principal of Silo High School Jeremy Atwood said the state is currently working on improving it.

 “You cannot look at a score and know that is a reflection of the entire school,” Atwood said.