Michigan Schools' Transparency Dashboards

In the beginning of 2017, Michigan was going to launch an accountability system which would use letter grades to rate schools. The Department of Education then decided that the A-F system was not the best way to rate schools since so many different factors go into assessing a school's quality. The letter grade system seemed like too much of a generalization when so many specifics have to go into the assessment.

Instead, they decided to launch a new acountability system called the "transparency dashboard" which would provide parents and community members with a plethora of information about each school, rather than just a single rating. Most of this information is academic, but also includes statistics on chronic absenteeism and other indicators of school quality. This system allows for meaningful differentiation between schools. Some indicators included in the "transparency dashboard" include: student or educator engagement, student access to/completion of advanced coursework, postsecondary readiness, school climate and safety, or any other indicator chosen that meets the federal requirements.

As we can see, the "transparency dashboard" comes with a lot of information, which might be confusing to parents/community members trying to guage the quality of a school. There was pushback from the Department of Education on the letter grade idea, however, because it seemed to simple when so many factors go into assessing a school's quality. Which system do you think makes the most sense? Is simplicity or the availability of a detailed assessment more valuable when rating schools? How can we improve upon the current system of rating schools? 

http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-37818_76731_76733-389191--,00.html

https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2017/12/30/2017-top-education-stories-michigan/981783001/

 

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