As many of you have read in the news lately, the Washington Policy Center has issued a series of A – F grades using our Achievement Index. For a number of reasons, the State Board opposes this approach. We testified against the bill in the state legislature, and we do not use A – F grades in our current Index framework. Board member Kris Mayer wrote a letter in opposition to this approach; it can be read here.
An Index, comprised mostly of test scores, is very useful as an initial evaluative screen. It helps us understand which schools are struggling, but not necessarily why. You can’t label a school or its staff a “failure” by merely looking at test scores in a spreadsheet. You need to understand something more about the school and why the data tells the story it does. Continue reading »