State education Commissioner Michael Williams announced details of the new system Tuesday. It’s possible the changes won’t go into effect until 2014 or will be revised based on pending legislation. One Senate bill would give schools a break from the ratings this year, just as they had in 2012 during the state’s transition to a new, tougher battery of standardized tests in reading, math, science and social studies.
The new system would grade schools in four areas: students passing state exams, showing improvement on state exams, raising the achievement of low-income and minority students, and high school graduation rates.
In some respects, the new performance measures will be harder, grading schools in part on whether students score at the higher, college-ready level on state exams. However, some of the standards will be phased in, starting at an easier level. For example, a school could meet one of the standards in 2103 if 50 percent of students passed state exams. Under the current system, schools meet the standard if between 60 percent and 70 percent of students pass the tests.