Louisiana School Letter Grades: The Games Reformers Play

My favorite result of the latest tweeking is how D and F schools are now the best places to theoretically send students behind grade level, but those are also ones we are supposed to close. Up is down now! F is the new A!


Let me begin this post by stating that I am against the use of letter grades as a measure of school performance. Assigning a single letter grade to a school in order to determine school worth bespeaks the disguised agenda of privatization– nothing more.

Nevertheless, the grading of public schools abounds. Reformers insist that letter grades offer the public a quality identifier that is “intuitively understood” (straight from Jeb Bush’s Florida and officially introduced into the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] playbook of so-called model legislation in 2010).

School Letter Grades: “Intuitively” Fooling the Public

For privatizers, the beauty of letter grades rests in the fact that no matter how the calculations behind the grades change– and no matter how the instruments used to measure “achievement change– and no matter how the numeric scaling of the letters change– the letters themselves remain the same. A, B, C. D. F. And…

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2 thoughts on “Louisiana School Letter Grades: The Games Reformers Play

  1. Yes, they are playing games with the letter grades. The superintendent ups the grade level whenever he wishes. My grandson is in a C school in Ascension Parish. Now supposedly it is a B school. Don’t know how that could have happened. Many of the students are failing miserably. The school has poor communication with parents. They did not even show us the benchmark test results and won’t even if you ask.

    1. The scale is meaningless and doesn’t take into account community involvement or feelings/opinions of parents or students. I believe a school is more than just a test score, or how many bonus points the State Superintendent decides to shower upon a school that year.You can have an “A” school or “B” that everyone hates and is failing many children but just happens to serve a more affluent community or recruit students that are already top performers.

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