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LIndsay Wagner of the NC Policy Watch reports that nearly 30 percent of the public schools in the state received a letter grade of D or F.
Surprise: Almost all of them are high-poverty schools.
“The only thing these grades tell us is where our poor children go to school and where our rich children go to school,” said Lynn Shoemaker, a 23 year veteran public school teacher representing the advocacy group Public Schools First NC at a press conference held by Senate Democrats.
The North Carolina General Assembly joined more than a dozen other states in adopting A-F school letter grades — a system of accountability that former governor of Florida Jeb Bush conceived more than 15 years ago. Eighty percent of North Carolina’s school grades reflect student achievement on standardized tests on one given day, and 20 percent reflect students’ progress on those tests over time….
“Is this data for shaming purposes?” said Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenberg) in an interview with N.C. Policy Watch.
Rep. Cotham, who has worked at a low-wealth school, said it’s very damaging to receive yet another strike that these letter grades bring when low-wealth schools already battle against so many obstacles.
Since poverty is the root cause of low academic performance, why isn’t the North Carolina leadership working on that problem instead of shaming schools?