I have said it before, and I will say it again. Giving letter grades to schools is stupid. How would you feel if your child came home from school with only a single letter grade? If you are a parent, you would be furious. Rightly so. Every child has strengths and weaknesses, is good at this, not so good at that, getting better at this, not interested in that. Can you sum up a child as an A child, a B child, a C child, a D child or an F child? I don’t think so.

Yet, following the bad ideas spun out of Jeb Bush’s brain, red states have adopted the letter grading strategy for entire schools. Schools that have strengths and weaknesses, areas in which they are doing magnificently, and areas where they can improve. Every school consists of millions of moving parts, yet the letter grade assumes that a single letter can sum up the school. This is truly stupid.

Reporter Lily Altadena spent time in a D rated junior high school in Arizona. What she describes is a good school with a good principal, and students who are doing their best to do better. Yet the school was rated a D. The principal is heartbroken. The school is her baby. The children are her children. Yet the school is stigmatized as a D school. What will parents think? Will they pull their children out and send them to the fly-by-night charter school down the street or across town? Will the school fall into a death spiral?

The letter grades correlate with the school’s affluence or poverty. In effect, the school is punished because it enrolls too many high-poverty students.

Only an idiot or a malevolent fool would subject schools to this kind of cruel judgment.