Choosing Fear Over Progress

Following a Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) call to action, a litany of fearmongering around A-F campus and district grading has surfaced alleging that the system is unfair and will harm students. The critiques are eerily similar across the board and match the association’s talking points.

Where these superintendents (who are not representative of all district leaders statewide) are wrong is that A-F grades for campuses won’t hurt the students who attend them. Contrary to the narrative being woven, the day after campus grades are released will not be a doomsday scenario. Students won’t suffer because of a failing grade that day, but they will suffer if we allow the schools they attend to stay the same.

That doesn’t mean A-F grades won’t be uncomfortable – they will be. These grades will show us how we can grow, how we can improve, and how we can address deficiencies we know exist. That’s not ever easy or comfortable. What would be more uncomfortable, and in our opinion unconscionable, is letting droves of children pass through schools their parents think are better than they actually are.

Let’s put aside the rhetoric of those worried about how many non-“A” schools for which they’ll have to answer. Instead, let’s align ourselves with the parents worried about how well their children will fare in life with the education they get from those schools.

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