The Senate passed a bill Monday detailing how a new grading system for schools should work despite concerns from education leaders that it could make most Utah schools look like failures and complicate accountability.
The Senate passed SB271 by 16-10 after debate, and many questions, about the measure. SB271 lays out a system for assigning schools grades of A-F next school year, but it proposes a different plan than the one that state education leaders have been working on since the original school grading legislation was signed into law in 2011.
In a committee hearing last week, State Associate Superintendent Judy Park said when she applied the proposed system to a sample of Utah schools, most earned grades of D, and none earned As or Bs. She also said if the bill passed Utah could end up with two different grading systems because the one developed by the State Office of Education has already been approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The proposed one has not.