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The Source: Will Texas' New A-F Grading System Help Or Hurt Schools?

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A new method to measure school performance was enacted by the 84th Texas Legislature in the form of A through F letter grades. The controversial ratings, which go into effect August 2018, will replace the state's current pass/fail system.

The Texas Education Agency released an A-F "work-in-progress report" in December to give schools and districts a sneak peek at their ratings under the new system. For many districts in Bexar County, these preliminary grades were dismal.

TEA Commissioner Mike Morath says A-F will help with school accountability and create improvement incentives. Critics argue the system lacks transparency and unjustly punishes schools with higher poverty levels. School boards and state representatives have voiced opposition to the new ratings, but Lt. Dan Patrick says they're here to stay

What does A-F really mean, and how will the school-rating system be implemented? Are educators prepared for the change? Is A-F the best system for measuring performance and improvement in Texas schools?

Guests:

Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.