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State education officials won't have "A to F" grades for schools ready by Sept. 1st

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Education is getting an “incomplete” on its assignment to assign a letter grade to every Michigan school.

The state Department of Education will miss a September first deadline to provide "A to F" gradeson Michigan schools.

The law requiring the new accountability system was passed during last year’s lame duck legislative session. But education department officials have struggled to compile all of the necessary data to meet the legislative timetable.

“The September 1st deadline date doesn’t allow the Department of Education to use the most current student assessment data sets, including student growth,” says Sheila Alles, the department’s Chief Deputy Superintendent and former interim superintendent. She says that data will be available later this fall. 

State education officials expect it will be next March before they can release "A to F" grades for Michigan schools.

Peter Spadafore is with the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators. He says the Department of Education has struggled to pull together all the data required under the law.

“The legislation was rushed,” says Spadafore. “It wasn’t thoroughly vetted in terms of how it aligned with federal and state law.”

Meanwhile, the state education department is still producing a different gauge of school performance.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.