It’s time to change flawed school accountability metrics!
In Utah, schools get grades just like students, but these grades do not accurately portray the quality of the school’s program. Unfortunately, funding decisions are based on these grades, as are parents decisions about which schools they want their children to attend. As a result, good schools are being punished with less funding, decreased enrollment and increased segregation.
The great news is there is a way to change the school grading system during the 2019 state legislative session, with a bill proposed by Rep. Marie Poulson (D-Salt Lake) to change the school accountability system. But the legislators need to hear from state school board members that this change is needed. And state school board members need to hear from you.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- E-mail your Utah State Board of Education Representative and tell them that you’d like the USBE to lead the way in changing School Accountability Standards in 2019.
- Attend a Utah State Board of Education meeting and speak up about the need to change the flawed metrics that unfairly judge our schools. The next USBE meetings will take place on January 31 (Legislative Meeting) and February 7th-8th (monthly Board meeting). See the schedule of meetings for locations details. Find meeting minutes and agendas here.
- Enter your address at vote.utah.gov and click “Elected Officials”.
- Your State School Board rep will be listed (as well as your local district school board rep and all other elected officials who represent you at each level of government), along with their contact info.
- Call or email your USBE rep and let them know you do not think standardized testing is the best way to evaluate how our schools are doing and ask them to change School Accountability Standards to improve education across the state.
- Do you have a personal experience with school grading? Share it!
- School grading fosters socioeconomically and racially segregated schools.
- School grading does not measure the enrichment programming or school climate.
- School grading does not show parents valuable information to inform their school choice.
- Evidence shows that low-income schools are more likely to receive failing grades when standardized testing is the only measure of a school’s quality.
- With increased parent skepticism about the values of testing, and studies showing their lack of effectiveness, it is time to change how Utah schools are evaluated.
- Changing accountability standards and allowing more flexible assessment strategies will give schools the ability to address their specific issues and serve their students better.