April 8, 2015
Excel National Applauds Tennessee Senate for Passage of A-F School Grading
Accountability policy promotes transparency, excellence and school improvement
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, the Tennessee Senate passed SB 300, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chair Dolores Gresham. The bill establishes an A-F School Grading System in Tennessee and provides clear, easily understandable descriptors of a school’s effectiveness to parents, educators and the public.
Excellence in Education National (@Excel_National) Executive Director Patricia Levesque said, “A well-defined school accountability system is key to recognizing and replicating success, as well as identifying failure and pathways to improvement. With an A-F School Grading System, Tennessee parents and communities can be more informed to take action when needed to help a school improve outcomes for its students. Transparent A-F systems adopted in Florida and 15 other states are raising expectations for student learning and holding schools to a high standard of performance.
“We thank bill sponsor and Senate Education Committee Chair Dolores Gresham for her steadfast commitment to improving the schools of Tennessee. We look forward to the House of Representatives passing HB 155 sponsored by Representative Glen Casada in the near future.”
Background on A-F School Grades:
- A-F School Grading systems have been adopted in Florida and 15 other states.
- A-F grades promote transparency. Using clear and transparent A, B, C, D and F descriptors ensures that there is a scale that parents, teachers and administrators clearly understand. Unlike any other scale, A-F provides a system that is understandable and relevant.
- A-F grades distinguish, in an immediately understandable way, schools that are doing a good job of making sure children are learning, schools that are failing and schools that need to work harder to improve.
- A-F grades promote excellence. The command focus on learning allows administrators, educators and parents to focus on students. No one is satisfied with a “C” grade or even a “B” grade. Everyone strives for excellence in a way you don’t see with fuzzy descriptors like “satisfactory” or “performing.”
- A-F grades allow student growth toward high standards. Using criterion-based growth in a school grading system ensures students are measured on their individual progress towards meeting pre-determined expectations, or “standards.” A standard is set for the amount of growth a student must make to demonstrate at least a year’s worth of progress in a year’s time towards the mastery of a certain set of skills.