Hamilton County School District Opposes State's A-F Grading System

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Hamilton County School District is opposing the state's A-F grading system.

The County School Board on Thursday will consider the following resolution:

The Hamilton County School Board urges the state to overturn the A-F school grading system. Hamilton County joins a growing resistance to the model being proposed by the Tennessee Department of Education.

WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Board of Education is responsible for providing a local system of public education;

and WHEREAS, the State of Tennessee, by March 2016 legislative approval and signature of Governor Bill Haslam of House Bill 155 and Senate Bill 300, has directed the Tennessee Department of Education to develop a grading system for assigning letter grades A through F on the state report cards for Tennessee schools,

and WHEREAS, after operating under federally-mandated No Child Left Behind guidelines, Tennessee received a waiver of NCLB standards and adopted Race To The Top guidelines, which were subsequently replaced by the new federally-mandated Every Student Succeeds Act in an effort to close achievement gaps for economically disadvantaged students;

and WHEREAS, a rating system utilizing A through F grades for schools, and districts creates a false impression about students, ignores the unique strengths of each school, and unfairly reduces each student’s worth to the school’s assigned grade;

and WHEREAS, at least 16 states have implemented a similar rating system utilizing A through F grades for schools and districts and, to date, there is no definitive research that suggests these ratings have improved student or school performance;

and WHEREAS, we embrace meaningful accountability that informs students, parents, and teachers about the learning needs of each student and each school;

and NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HAMILTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION AS FOLLOWS: The Hamilton County Board of Education hereby urges the Tennessee General Assembly to repeal legislation reducing schools to a single letter grade designation and, instead, in the best interest of students and schools, allow schools to publish multiple measures alongside any summative designation, as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act Final Regulations, which were not available at the time this legislation was passed. (ESSA, Final Regulations, pg. 101).

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: This new system should reduce the use of high-stakes, standardized tests, encompass multiple assessments, reflect greater validity, and, more accurately reflect what students know and can do in terms of the rigorous standards.


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