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Bill moving through Arizona Legislature would ditch A-F rankings for schools

A bill is moving forward at the Arizona Capitol that would get rid of the A-F letter grade system the state uses to rate schools.

The Senate Education Committee narrowly advanced HB 2675 on Wednesday.

It would replace the A-F grades with a new performance classification system adopted by the state Board of Education. 

Chris Kotterman is with the Arizona School Board Association. He said ASBA supports a system that relies less on statewide assessment scores and better outlines data for parents on how a school performs in specific areas.

“So if their student has a disability, it will show student performance," he said. "If their student gets free and reduced lunch, it can show that. It can show a lot of different things that we think will matter more to the parent as to how that school will serve their student aside from just A, B, C, D.”

Republican state Rep. Beverly Pingerelli, who sponsored the bill, says the intent is to have more accurate data and increase transparency for families.

"We must do a better job of notifying parents about school outcomes," she said. "This bill does that in several ways."

The bill gets rid of outdated reporting requirements like printing a school’s results in the newspaper and sending out postcards to neighborhoods. It instead requires they be posted online and increases e-mail communication with parents.

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Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.