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Schools superintendent backs off from plan to grade schools

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Michigan schools likely to get "dashboards," not grades

State Schools Superintendent Brian Whiston plans to ditch an idea to use grades to describe the performance of individual schools in Michigan, under the state's draft plan to comply with the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

That's after many groups protested the grades idea.

Chris Wigent is with the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

He says grades don't give much detail, and they can be misleading. But he likes the idea of presenting information about schools on what he calls a "dashboard."

A dashboard for an otherwise "C" graded school would show details – such as, it's doing very well improving student performance.  

"And the same is true if a school is rated an A," says Wigent. "They might have a low area and that area is really important for my child."

Wigent says Whiston plans to submit three proposals, two of which are based on a grading system, but, unless the state legislature intervenes, the third option for the dashboard system, will be adopted.

This story has been corrected. Chris Wigent is the executive director or the Michigan Association of School Administrators, not Dan Wygent.



Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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