The bill grades public schools on “indicators of quality of learning, financial efficiency, school climate, and any other indicators the office adopts shall be compared to state standards, progress on improved student achievement, and comparable performance.” In these areas, schools would get stars; five stars is the top ranking and presents excellence. One star signals unsatisfactory performance.
The bill also sets forth numerical grading of schools. The bill states: “The office, in coordination with the Department of Education, shall establish and annually calculate individual school and school system ratings, which shall be a numerical score on a scale of 0-100, for each public school and school system in this state based on the indicators of quality of learning adopted pursuant to this Code section for student achievement, achievement gap closure, and student progress with a majority of the score based on student achievement.”
The numerical grades were a concession to educators who opposed the bill’s original provision to assign letter grades of A-F, based on school achievement data.
According to an earlier AJC story on the bill:
Senate Bill 410 would create a five-star rating system based both on school climate and how well campuses use public money to improve student learning. Schools and districts would be graded on a 100-point scale related to what the bill calls “quality of learning” — including academic achievement and whether teachers make progress in closing performance gaps between groups of students.
“Everybody has been frustrated” by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, said the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons. “AYP didn’t really give you an idea how well a teacher was doing or how well a school was doing.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog