‘Ignore These Stupid Letter Grades' Texas Teachers, Parents and Pundits Sound Off on A-F

The response to Texas' plan to grade schools with an A through F hasn't been lukewarm. Apparently, you either love it or hate it.Most Texas educators and parents who have taken to social media about Texas' new system for holding schools accountable have been venting their frustrations. But others stand firmly behind the grades, which go into effect next year. A sneak peek was unveiled last week.One of the most widely circulated blog posts on the topic is written by a Northwest ISD assistant superintendent who explains "What my kids have learned from going to an 'F' school." It has been shared nearly 20,000 times on Facebook. In his post, Robert Thornell says he couldn't have asked for a better experience than what his children have found in the Fort Worth-area school district. Still, their middle school earned a D and his daughter's elementary school got an F. Not reflected in the grades? The fact that his kids are learning to dance, debate and build robots."It is hard for me to believe that those with very limited knowledge of schools could have the audacity to create a system that they can't even explain and give grades without providing promised support," he writes. "If a teacher did that to his/her class we would consider it poor instruction at best and gross negligence at worst. If you think I am being overly dramatic, you didn't spend the last two days like I did talking to principals and educators and trying to explain that places they put their heart and souls into were deemed not good enough."Krysta Reed, a teacher in the Midland area, shared a glimpse of her classroom by explaining the challenges of teaching 126 children, many of whom struggle financially or have trouble with English. She teaches the required Texas curriculum though it's anyone's guess what students will actually be tested on the state exams, she writes. And despite the numerous mishaps with the 2016 STAAR tests, Texas used the results as a basis for the new letter grades."Education is not a test, it is an experience and you just can't grade that...because the variables are too great....but so is the outcome," she writes. "Ignore these stupid letter grades....trust that 95% of teachers are doing unbelievable things with our children....realize their data is inaccurate and misleading...and elect new legislators next time around!"  Continue reading...

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