Tue, Sep 16, 2014 ●
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Letter: School report card gets a failing grade

Opinion

Letter: School report card gets a failing grade

As a dedicated, hard-working, loving, kindergarten teacher at a school just given an F by Gov. Paul LePage's new school grading program, I am appalled, disappointed, and above all else, sad at what the system is doing to children and families "failing" schools.

First of all, as educators, we have learned that standards- or proficiency-based grading is more effective for students. Why then, would we not do the same for schools? Giving letter grades is antiquated and anyone in education knows it.

Secondly, basing the grade on a single test, given on one day – a simple snap-shot of one moment – is quite simply unfair. If we graded the governor on one moment, one snapshot of any given day, what grade would he get? How fair would the grade be?

Finally, do you think telling a school it is 'failing' is going to motivate or encourage students or staff? No, our love for the children, teaching, and above all else, the craft of teaching and learning is what motivates us. We know our school needs help and we are already working with a plan to help our community. The grading system is nothing more than bullying those poorer and disadvantaged communities.

I highly encourage repealing the grading system.

Matt Halpern
Kaler Elementary School
South Portland