Friday, May 24, 2019

States’ Math and Reading Performance After the Implementation of School A-F Letter Grade Policies | VAMboozled!

States’ Math and Reading Performance After the Implementation of School A-F Letter Grade Policies | VAMboozled!

States’ Math and Reading Performance After the Implementation of School A-F Letter Grade Policies

It’s been a while! Thanks to the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA; see prior posts about ESSA herehere, and here), the chaos surrounding states’ teacher evaluation systems has exponentially declined. Hence, my posts have declined in effect. As I have written prior, this is good news!
However, there seems to be a new form of test-based accountability on the rise. Some states are now being pressed to move forward with school letter grade policies, also known as A-F policies that help states define and then label school quality, in order to better hold schools and school districts accountable for their students’ test scores. These reform-based policies are being pushed by what was formerly known as the Foundation for Excellence in Education, that was launched while Jeb Bush was Florida’s governor, and what has since been rebranded as ExcelinEd. With Jeb Bush still in ExcelinEd’s Presidential seat, the organization describes itself as a “501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on state education reform” that operates on approximately $12 million per year of donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Northwest Evaluation Association, ACT, College Board, and Educational Testing Service (ETS) testing corporations, among others.
I happened to be on a technical advisory committee for the state of Arizona, advising the state board of education on its A-F policies, when I came to really understand all that was at play, including the politics at play. Because of this role, though, I decided to examine, with two PhD students — Tray Geiger and Kevin Winn — what was just put out via an American Educational Research Association (AERA) press release. Our study, titled “States’ Performance on NAEP Mathematics and Reading Exams After the Implementation of School Letter Grades” is currently under review for publication, but CONTINUE READING: States’ Math and Reading Performance After the Implementation of School A-F Letter Grade Policies | VAMboozled!



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