Texas Superintendents Oppose New Grading System

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GARLAND (CBS11) – It was labeled as “unprecedented.”

Inside Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center, more than 100 teachers, school district administrators, elected trustees and school district superintendents from 50 Texas districts stood shoulder to shoulder.

Their message: “We care for kids,” Doug Williams, Sunnyvale ISD Superintendent said as members of the contiguous Region 10 school districts looked on. There are 80 school systems, representing 800,000 students in the region.

Monday, the coalition issued an assortment of legislative priorities for state lawmakers. Number one on the list: Eliminate the A-F Accountability System.

Texas school districts receive letter grades to identify education success, based on state accountability measures. But the Region 10 coalition vehemently opposes the letter grade ratings.

“It is discriminatory. It stigmatizes and ostracizes kids who are minorities and poor kids,” argued Terrell ISD Superintendent Michael French.

“The A-F system is designed for political purposes, not educational ones. If it was truly about education, we’d be looking at making teachers more effective as a state, rather than looking at ways to denigrate schools,” Mesquite ISD Superintendent David Vroonland asserted.

Last week, the Texas Education Agency provided a view of letter grades for school districts, based on student state exam results.

“No student should receive a grade based on one test,” argued Sunnyvale ISD Superintendent Doug Williams.

Michael French alleges lawmakers are using the letter grade system as a vehicle to build public opposition for public schools, and in turn, build public support for vouchers.

Vouchers or Education Savings Accounts would allow parents to take state funds for financing tuition in private, parochial or home school programs.

A coalition of lawmakers have promoted legislation for vouchers or ESA’s.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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