Audrey Amrein-Beardsley is an education scholar who specializes in smoking out quack reforms, like the “value-added” accountability measures used to judge teacher quality.

In this post, She investigates whether the 13 states that grade states with a single letter grade of A-F achieve higher scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress after implementing this strategy. 

Jeb Bush initiated the idea of giving schools a single letter grade.

I have long believed that it was a singularly stupid idea. If your child came home from school with a report card that contained only one letter grade, you as a parent would be outraged. No individual child is an A or B or C or D or F. She may be great in math but weak in science, average in reading but excellent in art or history.

If it’s wrong to give a single letter grade to one child, it is ludicrous to give a single letter grade to an institution that has hundreds of students, staff, programs, etc.

Amrein-Beardsley concluded:

In reality, how these states performed post-implementation is not much different from random, or a flip of the coin. As such, these results should speak directly to other states already, or considering, investing human and financial resources in such state-level, test-based accountability policies.

In short, this is a costly and useless school reform policy that benefits no one.