Missouri legislature rates dunce cap for plan to grade schools
The Kansas City Star
All parents want their children to attend and graduate from top-rated schools.
But the Missouri legislature’s proposal to give letter grades to public and charter schools is the wrong way for that to become a reality. It will flop faster than President George W. Bush’s signature No Child Left Behind law, which by the way has never worked.
Before setting a grading system, lawmakers would have to establish criteria on which the grades would be assessed. That should include the age, lighting and decor of the schools.
The standards would have to include whether each classroom promotes learning. The age of the teachers and administrators would have to be assessed along with the racial and ethnic diversity of the staff.
The schools would have to be rated on whether they possess the latest technology, whether the teachers can teach it and whether students are learning it. The books, supplies, libraries and whether students can take material home would have to be included in the standards.
If just those few things are considered in the grade, nearly every school in the state would automatically get an F because the legislature has failed over the years to full fund the schools so they can keep up with the changing times and infrastructure needs.
Therefore if the schools get Fs, and they should, the state also rates an F in its commitment to public education.