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Letter: Grading schools

Just like deer season, the annual grading of the schools is upon us. Bypassing common sense and the advice of experienced educators, our legislators fought to impose this system of letter grades on our public schools, saying it would help us to improve our schools by showing who was failing (supposedly what an “F” means). But when schools actually improved their performance according to test scores, the Legislature then changed the criteria this year because they decided there would be too many A’s and B’s.

When parents, students or the public notice that their perfectly fine neighborhood school ends up with a "bad grade" or their grade is lower even though their scores are higher, eventually the whole idea becomes irrelevant. Then, you have to ask, why do our legislators, who for some reason are now running our schools, need some schools to fail?

Continuing to beat up on hardworking teachers, students and parents in our school communities who are showing growth, progress and improvement is not useful and, in the end, counterproductive. No matter if everyone improves, this system requires some schools to be "failing."

If the Legislature constantly changes the criteria because a particular agenda needs there to be “failing” schools, eventually it becomes yet another useless mandate for schools from increasingly irrelevant representatives. Their contempt for the idea of public education overwhelms their political common sense. This ridiculous grading of schools needs to stop.

Keith Homer