A bill up for discussion in the Missouri House that would establish a report card for schools isn't needed according to local school officials.
Missouri lawmakers have been involved in discussion regarding House Bill 388, known as the School Information Act. The bill proposes that each Missouri school receive a letter grade for their performance.
Most lake area superintendents feel the extra report card unnecessarily replicates current protocol.
"I believe we have a quality accreditation in place. The Department of Education currently has information on school's performance on their website already," Tim Hadfield, Superintendent of Camdenton R-III schools said. "I don't think it's needed because we currently face accreditation from our state department."
Eldon Superintendent Matt Davis agreed with Hadfield.
"The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education already evaluates our school district," Davis said. "Parents have the ability to look at test scores, graduation rates, attendance rates and other information pertaining to their child’s school. I don’t understand why we would add a new program to evaluate schools when we are making cuts to other programs in education."
School of the Osage's Superintendent, Brent Depeé, thinks some legislators have an underlying agenda with the proposed bill.
"I believe that certain legislators want to destroy public education and are pushing for a second grading system," Depeé said "They want to prove that public education no longer is adequate."
Depeé suggests that if legislation pursues a second grading system, five letter grades should compromise a school's overall performance. He suggested that criteria include student achievement, sub-group performance, college and career preparation, attendance and graduation rate.
"By breaking it down, we know what to work on," he said. "But of course, we already have this in place. It is called MSIP 5."
The Missouri House perfected the bill Feb. 26. A second reading and referral to Senate Education took place on March 7.
Official summary of Bill 388
COMMITTEE OF ORIGIN: Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education
This substitute establishes the Parent and Community School Information Act and requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to publish a simplified report card for each public school attendance center and each charter school, except for a school that has only grades lower than third grade. The report card is separate from and in addition to the annual report required by Section 160.522, RSMo. The report card is for informational purposes and is not part of the school improvement program. The department must make annual progress reports to the Joint Committee on Education on the establishment of the report card and on simplifying access to its data portal. The department must link to the report card from its homepage. The first report card must be distributed before December 1, 2014. Each school must notify parents and the community about the report's contents and provide directions for accessing information. The principal of a school may provide a short statement giving background information for the report.
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The department must establish rules to create the report card so that it is easy for the general public to understand and contains applicable standards for each school, the overall score and corresponding letter grade for the standard, and any components of the standard that fits on one sheet of standard paper. A school that scores below 70% overall must submit an action plan for improvement to the department for its approval.