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Republican bill introduced to give grade Michigan public schools

Republican bill introduced to give grade Michigan public schools. (File - WWMT)

A new bill would grade schools’ performance in the same way the kids who attend them have their tests graded.

Some Republicans want to give Michigan schools a letter grade so parents can know if their school is failing or succeeding.

State Rep. and House Education Chair Tim Kelly is pushing forward on the idea of giving a school a grade A through F.

"It is something we all understand. Our children have A to F. They understand A to F.” Kelly said.

Kelly says his legislation is all about keeping transparency and accountability.

"Michigan has had a precipitous fall in student achievement performance along the last decade or so because we backed away from accountability system,” he said.

The state education board decided to back away from an A to F grading scale, according to State Superintendent Brian Whiston.

"The state board has taken a position to do the transparency dashboard and oppose A to F,” Whiston said. “The state board of education has made it clear it's opposed to A to F. They say schools are too complicated to give a grade when there are so many variables."

The online parent dashboard website tells parents about school performance, progress, graduation rates, advance course work, post-secondary enrollment, and assessment participation.

Kelly says the dashboard could be improved by giving a simple grade on each indicator.

"Without such we are just going to slide, backslide, and not get the performance other states are getting,” Kelly said.

The Michigan Education Association likes the new parent dashboard and is opposed to the A to F scale.

A to F scoring gives parents very little information beyond standardized tests scores, which puts more emphasizes on tests.

Kelly said, "I say what's your remedy? We aren't just standing still, but we are declining while other states are surpassing us daily."

While lawmakers debate the a-f scaling, you can check out where your school stands on the parent dashboard right now: https://www.mischooldata.org/ParentDashboard

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