Letters to the Editor

Tom Benton: Grading system too simplistic

Thanks for the Dec. 17 editorial “ Grade deflation” rejecting the new state-imposed grading system.

As a board, we are not in any way reluctant to provide ample information to our parents and community to make informed opinions about our schools. However, this grading scheme is overly simplistic.

For example, the high school grade will rely heavily on proficiency and growth in three, and only three, courses: English II, Biology and Core Math I. The General Assembly debated the weight of these measurements and decided on 80 percent proficiency (percent of students passing) and 20 percent growth (how much did students improve over the year).

At one point it appeared that these weights would have been reversed. Think of how this would change which schools get an “A” if 80 percent had been based on growth and 20 percent proficiency.

The state and each school system already have a public report card for each school that has multiple measurements including these. Why the move toward a one-grade system based on simplistic data in place of these report cards which capture a wider array of information is a mystery to me and seems to serve no useful purpose.

Tom Benton

Vice chairman, Wake County Board of Education