The letter-grading system that is spreading across many states originated in Florida during Jeb Bush’s tenure as governor. His goal was to show how poorly public schools were doing and to blame schools if students had low test scores, thus diverting attention from the social and economic causes of poor performance in school. Red states love letter grades, as does Mayor Bloomberg in New York City, who has advanced privatization as much as he could during this three terms in office.

This reader writes about the sham of the Indiana letter grade system:

 

Can you imagine taking your child to a doctor who knowingly and willfully misdiagnoses your child with cancer and recommends immediate, intense chemotherapy?

Further, even though you questioned the doctor and he could not explain how he came up with the diagnosis; he could not point to any direct source of cancer; he demanded you subject your child to intense chemotherapy anyway? Can you imagine being forced to purposely intervene with toxins to slowly poison your child even though you know the diagnosis is invalid?

So it goes in many Indiana schools today.

From the IDOE to the Statehouse, everyone admits the current A-F grading system is invalid and unreliable. No one at the state can explain exactly how the grades were calculated. Yet those schools doing great work and still receiving D’s and F’s, must give evidence to the state that they are attempting major interventions to improve student test scores.

How are they doing this? More testing. More data-analysis. They are purposefully increasing toxic interventions that are poisoning the natural desire to learn in our most vulnerable students.

Do you know how demoralizing it is for teachers in these buildings to witness such malpractice?

When will this madness stop?