No pressing reason to spike A-F school grades in Oklahoma
by The Oklahoman Editorial Board

GOVERNMENT policies seldom work as planned and are often counterproductive. Perhaps Oklahoma lawmakers have grown conditioned to expect negative outcomes from their handiwork. How else to explain their desire to change a policy that’s actually generating the positive results intended?

For several years the state has issued A-F letter grades to public schools. Those grades replaced the Academic Performance Index, which issued schools a score between 0 and 1500. While API scores were opaque, everyone immediately understands A-F grades.

House Bill 1823, by Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, would require the state Board of Education to study the grading system (yet again) and revise it. The bill has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

There are no good arguments for dramatically changing the system, and many solid reasons to keep it.

For one thing, truly independent academic reviews have praised Oklahoma’s grading system. In 2013, David N. Figlio, director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, declared Oklahoma’s A-F system “an exemplar of systems of its type, and a model for other states and jurisdictions to follow.”

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