Data Mania: What Gets Measured?

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Education Commission of the States has compiled a graph showing what states are measuring in the way of student data.

One interesting note is that the idea of A-F letter grades for schools started in Florida, the brain-child of Governor Jeb Bush. There are now 14 states that use letter grades. In my view, this is an especially pernicious form of data. Imagine how a parent would feel if their child came home from school with a report card that contained only one grade: A-F. The parent would be outraged and would demand a more expansive description of how their child is doing in school.

In the case of a school, which is an institution with many staff and students, a single letter grade is absurdly reductionist. There are many facets to a school, including its resources, teachers, support staff, curriculum, attendance, persistence rate, availability of physical education, facilities…

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