Two pieces of legislation graphically illustrate how Alabama enacts laws that make little sense and defy logic.
One is a bill passed in 2012 that assigns a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F to every school in the state. The other is the Alabama Accountability Act passed in 2013 that declares that the bottom six percent of all schools should be labeled “failing.”
Common sense tells us that a “failing” school in all probability would also be one with an “F” grade. Surely there must be some common linkage between both of these measurements? Guess again.
For instance, of the 75 schools designated as “failing” by the Alabama Accountability Act in January 2018, only 36 of them received an F according to the A-F school report card measurements.
Of the remaining 39, two got a C and 37 got a D.
So, we put out info last January saying there are 75 “failing” schools. Then we come along shortly after saying, no only half of them are..
Each year the Council for Leaders of Alabama Schools (CLAS) goes through an extensive process to identify “Banner Schools” from each of the districts represented on the state board of education.
There are eight districts. Three schools are chosen from each district and then one from each district.
Here are the top three from each district for 2018, with the score as given by the state A-F school report card. The overall winner is the last one listed.
District 1—Baker high, Mobile County system—C
Citronelle high, Mobile County system—C
Mary B. Austin elementary, Mobile County system—B
District 2—Kinston school, Coffee County system—B
Lance elementary, Lanett city system—D
Eufaula elementary, Eufaula city system—D
District 3—Meadow View elementary, Alabaster city system—C
Montevallo elementary, Shelby County system—B
Childersburg middle, Talladega County system—B
District 4—Central elementary, Tuscaloosa city system—D
Westlawn middle, Tuscaloosa city system—F
Paul W. Bryant high, Tuscaloosa city system—D
District 5—Pike County high, Pike County system—B
U.S. Jones elementary, Demopolis city system—C
Booker T. Washington high, Macon County system—D
District 6—Cullman elementary, Cullman city system—A
Hartselle intermediate, Hartselle city system—A
Boaz high, Boaz city system—C
District 7—Florence high, Florence city system—B
Howell Graves preschool, Muscle Shoals city system—NA
Russellville high, Russellville city system–B
District 8—James Clemens high, Madison city system—A
Mill Creek elementary, Madison city system—A
Riverton elementary, Madison County system—B
So, you have 24 of the better performing schools in the state, as selected by experienced educators and the A-F school report card says there are more Cs and Ds than As.
One final look at insanity.
When you look at the high schools in the state with the 20 HIGHEST average ACT scores and the 20 with the LOWEST, you discover they have one thing in common.
According to the A-F school report card, both lists have one C school on them.
McIntosh high school in Washington County has an average ACT of only 14.7. In fact, there are only two schools that are lower. Grissom high in Huntsville has an average of 23.1 ACT. There are only five schools in the state higher than Grissom.
But the A-F school report card system says both are C schools. Forget the 8.4 points difference in ACT scores, someone wants us to believe they are equals.
Again, logic is no where to be found when looking at letter grades for high schools and ACT scores.
Since there are supposedly 134 A schools statewide, would seem that the top 20 ACT scores would all rate an A? Nope. There are six As, 13 Bs and the aforementioned C.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are 104 F schools. Again, enough to give every school on the bottom of ACT scores an F. Wrong again. There are five Fs, 14 Ds and one C.
And we wonder why teachers and administrators pull out their hair? It’s because they are constantly whipsawed by such nonsense that at the end of the day is only used to make public schools look bad.