Reimagining Education

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A-F school rating system picks up momentum in Missouri legislature

The idea of grading public schools, including charters, on an A-F scale has been making progress in Jefferson City and is expected to be debated on the House floor within the next couple of weeks.

CEAM State Director Kate Casas recently voiced her support for the concept to the Springfield News-Leader, saying that the grading system would help parents have better conversations with teachers, administrators and school board members because information about specific schools, rather than the district as a whole, would be more easily available.

Check out what an MSIP 5 building report card might look like under the proposed A-F school rating system versus the current MSIP5 building report card

The proposed bill would require that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) produce a simple, annual school building report card for each public school, including charters, in Missouri. Each school will receive a letter grade of A, B, C, D, or F based on the individual school building’s performance on school improvement program standards outlined by MSIP5 which was heavily vetted by superintendents, parents, teachers, community members, and academics.

A report that provides both the percentage totals for each standard calculated as part of MSIP5 and a letter grade will allow educators, parents, community members, and elected officials to have accessible, understandable information about school performance. This will inspire community-wide conversations about how to maintain, replicate or improve student performance at schools across Missouri.

Why is a letter grade essential?

  • Providing letter grades will ensure parents, community members, and elected officials understand how a school is performing.
  • Schools give students A, B, C, D, F grades as a means to communicate with parents about how their individual child is performing. Communicating in the same language about building performance is a logical, transparent approach to increasing parent and community engagement.
  • The letter grades will be based on the individual building score as calculated by MSIP5. This is not a new accountability system or a punitive measure.
  • Since Florida began rating schools A-F in 1999, the number of A and B schools has more than doubled while they have raised the standards four times.
  • We believe firmly that school grades will not send parents or community members running from schools, but will inspire them to rally around a school in an effort to maintain, replicate or improve student outcomes.




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