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State Department of Education Releases New School Report Card Protoype

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) unveiled the new school report card today as a part of the Alabama Accountability Act passed in 2012. The law required ALSDE to come up with a report card with an overall single letter grade for each district and each school in Alabama. This first report card is a prototype, since Alabama will need to receive U.S. Department of Education approval to make sure it also meets all federal reporting requirements.

The 2016-2017 report card uses data from the ACT Aspire Test from Spring 2017 as a major portion of the grade’s calculation. For the elementary, middle, and P-8 schools, ninety percent of the score will come from the ACT Aspire and ten percent of the score will be from chronic absenteeism. For high schools, fifty percent of the score is from the ACT Aspire, which is taken only by 10th grade students, thirty percent from the graduation rate, ten percent from college and career readiness, and ten percent from chronic absenteeism. Last summer, the State Department of Education voted to discontinue the ACT Aspire and replaced it with the Scantron assessment. This means that, unlike this year, next year’s report cards will not rely on the ACT Aspire.

Grades in the Huntsville School District were in every letter category. Superintendent, Dr. Matt Akin is very much in favor of accountability but “disagrees with a school’s grade being based on a single test, adding that these new report cards “do not highlight all of the different measures for success.” Dr. Akin stated that our school system’s accomplishments and raw potential are what brought him to Huntsville because he saw “more opportunities offered for students than any other school system I’ve seen.”

Dr. Akin says the district knows its challenges, and his team started working on a plan for excellence last year that includes:

  • recruiting & retaining teachers,
  • focusing on literacy rates across all grades,
  • emphasizing college and career readiness for all students,
  • and creating an environment that personalizes learning for all students.

A detailed presentation on the new state report card will be held during tonight’s Board of Education Work Session. The meeting can be viewed LIVE on ETV on Comcast channel 17, WOW channel 3, over the air on WHIQ 25.5, or here on the district website.

The Alabama State Department of Education is accepting comments/suggestions through Friday, February 23, 2018.  To voice your concerns, please email the Alabama State Department of Education.

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