Rep. Terri Collins of Decatur chairs the House Education Policy Committee and therefore, plays a key role in legislation impacting public schools.  She is the sponsor of the infamous A-F school report card bill that adds no value whatsoever to our education efforts.

We have written many times how the grading system used for school report cards and the one used by the Alabama Accountability Act to designate “failing” paint unreliable and inaccurate pictures of what such measures are supposed to mean.

To their credit, The Anniston Star and reporter Lee Hedgepeth, took notice of how absurd this situation is and investigated.  Hedgepeth begins his article this way:

“The State of Alabama isn’t a consistent grader.

A comparison of the state’s “failing” schools list and its education report cards show a wide disparity in how schools are labeled across the Yellowhammer State.

Seventy-five schools are labeled as “failing” under the Alabama Accountability Act, but the state says 104 schools earned an “F” on their education report cards. Of those 104 schools that received Fs, only 37 are labeled as “failing” under the act.

Lawmakers passed the Alabama Accountability Act in 2013 to encourage students zoned for schools labeled as “failing” — those that score in the bottom 6 percent on certain test scores — to transfer to other schools through the use of tax-credit funded scholarships.

State education report cards, on the other hand, are the result of a 2012 law that brought Alabama into compliance with a federal push for transparency measures like A through F report cards. School report cards were finally released in February after years of delay.”

Then, as any good reporter would do, Hedgepeth talked to Collins.  Her response is, well, basically mind-blowing.

“Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, was a sponsor of the report card legislation in Alabama and also supported the Alabama Accountability Act.

Collins said Friday she doesn’t see any issue with the inconsistency in labels.

“These are just totally separate things,” she said. “The Accountability Act is just based on a single test score. The report card grades are based on many different contributing factors.”

TOTALLY SEPARATE THINGS?

Tell that to teachers, students, principals and administrators who see their school get an F on one system according to A-F–but are not one of the 75 “failing” schools.  Which are they to believe?  Or what about a school deemed as “failing” by the accountability act–but does not get an F on their school report card?

Or take Montgomery where a group has spent nearly $100,000 to scream from the rooftops how terrible the school system is.  According to the accountability act, 11 of these schools are “failing” and 17 are F schools.  (And three of the “failing’ schools are not an F.)  Which info will the anti MPS group use?  Naturally, the info that paints the worst picture.

TOTALLY SEPARATE THINGS?

Only to someone making law about education who apparently spends precious little time in schools trying to understand what they are really all about and how detrimental such poorly thought out ideas can be.