Pyfer reacts strongly to school grading

FILE PHOTO

Utah’s recently-released school grading program was launched by the Utah legislature with some lawmakers saying there might be resistance from some who are uncomfortable with transparency.

State Board of Education member Tami Pyfer reacted strongly to that comment and said unfortunately Utah’s program is modeled after a single grading program in Florida.

On <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/328/2013_09_10_328_14247_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s Crosstalk program Monday</a>, Pyfer said in Florida assigning a single grade was just one component of a reform package that included cutting class sizes and rewarding schools with $134.6 million to provide additional academic intervention for low-performing students.

“We’re not giving school financial incentives,” Pyfer said when comparing Utah’s new system to Florida’s. “We’re not helping poor-performing schools. We’re not doing teacher development. We still have the lowest per-pupil spending.

“Our class sizes are enormous and yet many of our lawmakers, especially down in the Salt Lake County area and Utah County area, don’t want to hear us complaining about it. They send out these pre-press statements saying, ‘You’re going to hear educators complaining. They just don’t like change, they don’t like accountability, they don’t like transparency.'”

Pyfer said frankly assigning a school just a one-letter grade is anything but transparency.

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