Alabama State Report Card Released
February 1, 2018
(HCS) - The Alabama Department of Education released the Alabama State Report Card today, containing a letter grade for schools and school systems across the state, including Hoover City Schools.
Our school system received an “A” - which reflects several different factors including academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, as well as graduation rates and college and career readiness (for high schools).
The Alabama Department of Education has to reference this A-F rating system as a “prototype” - since it has not been officially approved by the United States Department of Education. It is important to note that this report card process was changed multiple times prior to today’s release.
Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy made some observations on this new accountability measure.
“Hoover City School District values accountability. While we are proud to receive a letter grade of A on our district report card, we subscribe to a system of accountability that is not so heavily reliant on a test - the ACT Aspire - a test discontinued by the State Board of Education in 2017. There have been multiple iterations of this A-F Report Card, all iterations producing different grade results. As an example, using chronic absenteeism of students instead of attendance rate could potentially produce a different grade. Given such divergency in grades, it seems appropriate to first to determine what we want to measure rather than seeing what the grade looks like and then changing the metrics. The point is, if one wants to make a school or school district look good or bad, pick some metrics - limited metrics - and weigh them to get the result sought. I am glad this is a ‘prototype’ report card, as it definitely needs additional attention,” Dr. Murphy said.
The State of Alabama introduced the Alabama State Report Card so students, parents, community members, and others could easily understand how their schools are performing, just as report cards help parents understand how their kids are doing. The goal of the report card is to provide a starting point and to offer easy-to-understand information showing how a school/school system is doing.
Curriculum leaders in Hoover City Schools welcome measures that help parents spark conversations surrounding education - yet caution that many changes were made to this specific report card process before its release.
“Overall, we are proud of our results on this first prototype report card, but it has been a very frustrating process getting to this point. The state made major changes to the categories included and the manner in which the calculations would be made multiple times, and those changes all took place after the end of the 2016-17 school year. I think our parents would be very upset if a teacher changed the manner in which a child’s grade was determined after the school year had ended. We are always seeking ways that we can improve as a learning institution, and when we do so, that means that more young people are going to have a better future,” Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, Dr. Ron Dodson, said.
Dodson says just as with our students’ report cards, one report card does not tell the whole story. A report card should indicate how a student, or in this case a school or district, is currently doing with respect to certain specific indicators. When multiple report cards are viewed together, then a more comprehensive understanding of trends, strengths, and areas of focus can be discerned. There are, of course, many important things related to the success of our students that will not be captured in this report cards. We encourage parents to connect with their schools, participate in community events, and support our teachers and principals in the education of their children.
You may view the 2016-17 Alabama State Report Card on the Alabama State Department of Education website.