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House Education Reform Committee approves A-F grading system for Michigan schools

'If you look at states that have A-F systems, they're outperforming Michigan.'

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LANSING, Mich. – Legislation to develop an academic grading style A-F grading system for school was approved Thursday by the House Education Reform Committee.

The bill would create an Education Accountability Policy Commission to implement the grading system focused on student proficiency in key subjects, academic growth, advancement of English language learners, graduation rates, participation in state assessments and student absenteeism.

"Michigan has to have a simple, clear and transparent method of sharing each school’s performance," Rep. Tim Kelly said. "This is the most direct way to see how our schools are doing because everybody knows what a B means for our child’s school on education growth in mathematics or what an F is in graduation rates. We don’t need any more color-coded tables or cumbersome parent dashboards to confuse parents. We need honest and understandable transparency."

A-F measurements have been implemented in 13 states as part of the requirements set in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act replaced the No Child Left Behind Act in December 2015.

"We need better governance and accountability in Michigan’s schools," Kelly said. "If you look at states that have A-F systems, they’re outperforming Michigan. We don’t need one A-F summative grade for each school or a confusing dashboard even though each have its benefits. We need clear measurements of a school’s success and failures. When we’re not accountable, we’re not performing."

House Bill 5526 has advanced to the House for its consideration.