Plan Rating Schools With Letter Grades Headed to Full Senate

A plan to rate public schools statewide by letter grades A through F is headed to the full Senate.

The Senate Education Committee approved the much-watched bill Tuesday. It would issue letter grades based on student standardized test scores.

Republicans largely back the idea, and it appears likely to clear the Senate, despite Democratic reservations.

Supporters say grades are easy to understand and will spur parents to force changes at failing schools. Schools are currently rated on a "met standards" or "needs improvement" pass-fail system.

The bill would take effect next year. Texas has already approved implementing a letter grade system for school districts, but not individual campuses.

Opponents worry that attending an F-graded school could stigmatize students, and say poor ratings more reflect inadequate classroom funding than education quality.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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