A-F grading system for schools up for consideration again

Feb 8, 2018

Some lawmakers in Lansing want to use an A through F grading system to rate schools in some categories.


Lawmakers and even the governor have pushed for an A through F grading system for a while now. They say it’s an easy way to show how schools are doing.

But recently, the state adopted a system that shows a lot of details about each public school. A new bill would keep that system but include A through F grades for some things.

Brian Love is a parent from Detroit. He says parents need an easy way to determine if a school is good for their kids.

“Parents have enough going on in their world, enough drama if you will. But parents need as much help as possible and one of the easiest ways is being able to help a parent identify what’s a good school and what’s a bad school.”

Democratic Representative Bill Sowerby isn’t on board. He says there are other factors that can impact the school’s performance that aren’t reflected in a letter grade. Things like poverty and student home lives.

”I don’t know that we are talking about fair comparisons across the board between school districts if just using a single letter grade and not looking at all those other socioeconomic factors.”

Republican Representative Tim Kelly is a bill sponsor. He says this would help low performing schools improve.

“Clearly the states that I’ve pointed out and comparisons of who’s doing best with an A to F are blowing our socks off, and will continue to do so until Michigan gets serious about student performance.”

Opponents say simple letter grades, even when combined with the full dashboard, could stigmatize schools and students.