Wednesday, September 18, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: OH: Meaningless School Grades And Money

CURMUDGUCATION: OH: Meaningless School Grades And Money

OH: Meaningless School Grades And Money

Over at, Rich Exner has done yeoman's work taking Ohio's school ratings and connecting them with census information from the US Census Bureaus 2017 American Communities Survey.

Ohio is another one of those states that believes it can reduce the entire issue of a school's quality to a single letter grade. This is a dumb idea, and there is no state that has ever implemented it in which it did not prove to be a dumb idea. It has been decades since we concluded that reducing student performance to a single letter grade was a dumb idea. How could it not be a dumb idea when applied to an entire complex system that is a school? If we asked a hundred parents what a B means foir a school grade, we would get over a hundred answers because many of those parents would say, "Hmm, well, it could refer to the general academic atmosphere of the school, or maybe how involved students are, or the level of enrichment offered, or, hell, I don't know."

Because giving a school a single letter grade is a dumb idea. Can a school suck in some areas and be awesome in others? Of course it can.

So if this is such a dumb idea, why does it keep cropping up? Well, its advocates have never made a coherent case for the practice (and many reformsters are judiciously silent on the practice), but we can make some educated guesses.

For one, a letter grade makes a nice way to hide the fact that you are grading an entire school based on a single standardized test of reading and math. If you just published the school's average or aggregate score, the public would shrug and say, "Okay, that's one piece of data and I'm not even sure I much care." So we have to CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: OH: Meaningless School Grades And Money