Grades are a touchy subject. Understanding how students are doing, and how well schools are serving their students, is an imperfect science. But as states rethink what success looks like, they can use more holistic measures of school quality to improve school and student performance.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the main K-12 federal education law, gives states this opportunity. The new law requires states to look beyond test scores to design school ratings with the whole student in mind. States can use different measures for different grade spans, using age-appropriate ones where it makes sense, and are limited only by their imagination (and some technical requirements of the law).
The above excerpt was originally published in The 74.
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