The state’s grades for school districts in Ohio were released, and they were mostly awful. The idea for giving letter grades originated with Jeb Bush, and no one has ever produced an iota of evidence that they lead to school improvement although they surely produce teaching to the test and misplaced goals.
Charter school grades were even worse than public schools. 75% of charter schools ranked D or F. Two-thirds of charters ranked F, compared to 25% of public school districts. I don’t think this is what Jeb Bush had in mind. More than half of public school districts rated A, B, or C.
Two experienced superintendents decried the farce of school grades, which are a holy grail to those on the right who are intent on defaming public schools and pushing privatization.
But, not surprisingly, the spokesman for the right wing Thomas B. Fordham Institute (Where I was a founding member many years ago) defended the grades and said they probably show how bad the public schools are. The spokesman has a career in the privatization movement, but no experience as a teacher, principal, superintendent.
Why is a proponent of school choice on the reporter’s speed dial? Whom should the public believe about the validity of school grades? Working educators or lobbyists for privatization?