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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 16, 2017 10:01 pm

Michigan smart to skip school grades

Michigan policymakers made a wise decision this week to drop plans to assign A-F grades to schools. "More damage than good" would come from the system, a Republican member of the Michigan State Board of Education said.

He could have had Indiana’s experience with A-F grades in mind. Hoosiers haven’t been well served by the broken grading system. Parents and taxpayers who want to know about Indiana public schools will find the best information in the schools’ annual performance reports. The reports for Fort Wayne Community Schools, East Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools will be published in The Journal Gazette later this month. Northwest Allen County Schools’ report is published in the Northwest News.

Peformance reports give a much more complete picture than a simple letter grade. The reports show demographic information, enrollment, per-pupil expenditures and graduation rates. There’s information on the percentage of students taking Advanced Placement exams and the salary range for teachers. State averages are provided as well.

In all, there are 29 measures beyond a district letter grade available on performance reports, plus separate reports available for each school within a district.

If you want to know how your neighborhood school and district are doing, forget the letter grade – check out the performance report.