Perry receives a B in preliminary school grades


Students in K-12 education levels are graded on an A-F grading system. Schools within the state of Ariz. are also graded A-F, but things have changed just recently.

Now schools are being graded by a system called the A-F Letter Grades for Accountability, which is required by the Arizona Revised Statutes.

According to an article written by AzCentral “It is based off of four factors: proficiency, “English Language Learners” [known as AZELLA], acceleration and or readiness, and growth seen on AzMERIT scores.”

This system was created because, like every business or government or organization, checks and balances are required to keep everyone in line. The system was created to promote accountability in the school system.

Matthew Strom is the Assistant  Superintendent of K-12 Educational Services for Chandler Unified School District (CUSD). He said that “the system is still a quantitative system so there are not any representatives from the Arizona Department of Education who visits sites on behalf of A-F Letter Grades to make a qualitative judgement.”

There are two systems: one for K-8 and another for 9-12. The main commonality between the two are that both expect their students to pass their AZMERIT exams and also expect the students to get better scores every year.

According to Heather Patterson, the Assistant Principal for Perry High, the high schools were graded on four categories and to receive an A in those categories, you had to receive a certain amount of points within each category.

Every category has the same number of points, except for growth which has more points than the rest of the categories.

Strom said that, “most of the data for school letter grades is already collected at the Arizona Department of Education. But, this year, one of the new components in the 9th-12th grade system is a Career and College Readiness Index.”

He continued with, “for this index, we submit a report to the Arizona Department of Education in July on behalf of each of our schools.”

However, many schools have been receiving Bs and even some Fs. This has caused many parents and school officials to raise questions on the validity of the system.