Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic governor of Virginia, signed a law repealing the A-F letter grades for schools. As Lindsay Wagner of NC Policy Watch reports, this action takes place at the same time that North Carolina learned that the letter grades are highly correlated with the proportion of disadvantaged students in the school. Thus, the report card serves to stigmatize schools with high poverty levels, making it harder for them to recruit teachers and setting them up for takeover and privatization.


The A-F letter grades are Jeb Bush’s idea. As State Superintendent Tony Bennett showed in Indiana, the formula for the letter grades can be manipulated to protect campaign donors who own charter schools. Mainly they stigmatize schools that serve the neediest children.