California poised to adopt new school-grading system

As reported by the San Jose Mercury News:

In a significant shift in how it grades public schools, California is crafting new report cards with the goal of capturing a more detailed snapshot of what each campus accomplishes.

Critics call the new accountability measures an avalanche of confusing numbers and jargon that downplay test scores, obscure schools’ failings and make it impossible for parents to tell how well schools are serving their kids.

The proposed school evaluations, expected to be adopted when the California State Board of Education meets Thursday and Friday in Sacramento, succeed the three-digit API scores that measured schools’ worth.

For 14 years, Californians could get a clear — albeit limited — snapshot of how local schools and school districts were performing, with the state issuing a single number representing achievement of schools, districts and student groups. The Academic Performance Index pegged schools’ worth to results of math, English and science tests, graduation rates and high school exit-exam passage. …

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