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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.
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?