October 3, 2017
A-F School Letter Grades – What do they mean?
Dear Kyrene Community,
At last, the temperatures are dropping and fall break is on the horizon. It has been an active beginning to the school year, and as I reflect upon the beginning weeks, there is much to celebrate. School and classroom visits have been filled with observations of teachers and students enthusiastically engaged in activities that focus on student learning. I hope that you and your families will have opportunity to rest and enjoy the beautiful weather over the break!
Recently, the State Board of Education (SBE) voted and approved the cut scores and other criteria that are used to determine school letter grades. Members of my leadership team and I have been following this process closely. In my appearances before the SBE, in calls to the public, I expressed my concerns with the inadequacy of the formula, as letter grades are meant to be a clear and realistic reflection of performance, achievement and quality. The formula and measures used to calculate letter grades do not have this result. Rather, the application of complex rules confuses the meaning individuals can draw from the assigned letter grade.
To help our community understand how letter grades are calculated, we will present information to the Governing Board during the study session this evening. This session will be taped and posted on our website so that it is available for review when school letter grades are released to the public on Monday October 9. In addition, school leaders can also address questions parents and community members may have and/or provide additional information about school performance that better supports an understanding of school quality.
The recent release of AzMERIT results illustrates that Kyrene students continue to outperform their peers. Whatever the letter grade, our focus will remain on teaching and learning, as we strive to achieve our vision of all students performing at their maximum potential to become the problem-solvers, creators and visionaries of tomorrow.
The trust you place in us to provide your children with the best possible education, and to support them to realize their full potential, is taken very seriously. I am very proud of the work our staff and students do each and every day, to make Kyrene a great school district.
Jan Vesely, Ed.D.