Mercedes Schneider reports that the state of Louisiana has recalibrated letter grades for the state’s schools, which will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of “failing schools.”

The number of A rated schools will decrease by 38%.

The number of F rated schools will increase by 57%.

Ominously, this means that more districts will be eligible for charter schools.

She notes:

“Of course, the great irony here is that most charter schools in Louisiana are concentrated in New Orleans, and 40 percent of those scored D or F in 2017— prior to the anticipated, 57 percent increase in F-graded schools. But in the view of market-based ed reform, it is okay for charter schools have Fs because theoretically, these can be replaced by new charter schools ad infinitum with charter-closure churn being branded as a success.

“In 2010, Louisiana state ed board (BESE) president, Penny Dastugue, commented that “people can relate to letter grades,” implying that letter grades are simple.

“The shifting criteria behind them is not “simple”; it is simplistic, and as such, it is destructive and feeds a joyless, authoritarian, fear-centered atmosphere in schools and systems unfortunate enough to not have access to hefty doses of wealth, privilege, or the capacity for selective admission.”

Dropping grades across the board is a hasty maneuver to drop more schools into the F category so they can be handed off to private corporations.

Please note that, as I have written here on many occasions in the past, giving a letter grade to a school is a very stupid idea. It was pioneered by Jeb Bush in Florida as a way to label schools for state takeover and privatization. Imagine if your child came home with a single letter grade. You would go to the school the next day and raise the roof. What a dumb idea to think that all the facets of your child’s knowledge, skills, interests, activities, and performance could be reduced to a single letter.

Then think of doing the same to a school with 500 students and staff. This is madness. No, it is sheer malevolent stupidity.