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A-F Grading System For State School Report Cards May Be Scrapped

Students in the classroom
Columbus Neighborhoods

Critics are giving low marks to a study of the state’s school report cards put out by a group of lawmakers. However one big change could come from it.

The study was assigned to lawmakers as a part of the new state budget in July and makes no recommendations. It just outlines what each school and stakeholder group said about the current grade card system and what changes those groups would like.

One thing came through to House Education committee chair Don Jones (R-Freeport), the A-F letter grade system for schools pushed by former Gov. John Kasich in 2012 is flunking.

Kasich had wanted a simpler labeling system than what was in place at the time. However it's been controversial, with some saying it's too simplistic and others saying it's too complicated in how it compares different academic measures.

“There’s a pretty good consensus for it to go because a lot of people have the thought that if their school isn’t an A or B, they’re failing, which is not a true statement. A ‘C’ school means that they’re meeting expectations," Jones said.

Jones suggested a simple label of whether a school is exceeding, meeting or not meeting standards may work, rather than a letter grade.

He said the report will start discussions about the changes lawmakers have said they want to make to the report cards, but he says nothing would go into effect for this school year.

Report cards are a key part of the state’s EdChoice voucher program. The program will expand dramatically in the next year, with students in 1,227 school buildings qualifying for vouchers in the 202o-2021 school year. Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) has said he wants a fix to that program.