Shock Over Accountability

Baseball Diamond 41%

Rating of 4 out of 6
Researchers warn of fallout over school grades

Not a single Florida school had failed in 2001 before the grading change, but Norland was among 63 that received an F after the new procedure was adopted. It bases A-through-F grades on gains students make on standardized tests from year to year rather than simply on that year's scores. "The increased pressure probably produced some benefits but also led some teachers to move away from low-achieving schools," said Florida State University economist Tim Sass. "The general lesson there is you have to be careful about potentially unintended consequences." A key provision in Florida's Race to the Top plan, as well as part of a new accountability law, is teacher merit pay that will be closely tied to how much students improve on the standardized tests. Joseph thinks the changes will again cause more teacher transfers.

Tags: testing

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