State delays release of labels, grades for Arizona's public schools - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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State delays release of labels, grades for Arizona's public schools

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Posted: Monday, September 26, 2011 3:09 pm

State officials decided Monday to delay for about two weeks the release of performance labels and grades for Arizona's public schools.

The information was to be released to the public Wednesday.

The decision was made after the state Board of Education asked the Arizona Department of Education to further discuss "how the accountability system will impact small schools and students who move throughout the school year," according to a news release.

School districts received their labels several weeks ago so they could review them and, if desired, ask for an appeal. No date has been set yet for the rescheduled public release.

Arizona's schools have been judged on the AZ Learns label system for several years. A new way to judge schools based on A-F grades is being introduced this year. The two systems calculate their scores differently. So, it is possible that a public district or charter school may receive a higher achievement label on one system than the other.

Schools will be under the scrutiny of both systems for two years as the old labels are phased out and the new letter grades are completely put into place.

The old accountability system, which uses the terms excelling, highly performing, performing plus, underperforming or failing, primarily looks at how students perform on Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards, with students' progress accounting for about 30 percent of the label.

The A-F system awards 50 percent of the points possible based on AIMS scores, and 50 percent of the points based on how many students demonstrate growth from one year to the next.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or mreese@evtrib.com

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