In a committee meeting earlier this week where school administrators updated Wake County School board members on a new law that gives a letter grade to each school and ends the practice of social promotion, board member Jim Martin called the new grading law “a bad idea”. News accounts said Martin called the grading system an attempt to subject the schools to public ridicule.
I guess Jim Martin believes parents have no right to know if their child’s school is performing poorly. I doubt that I’m the only one bothered that Martin seems more concerned about making sure the schools don’t look bad than in actually fixing what needs to be fixed.
Martin also doesn’t like a new law which requires school districts to remediate students who aren’t reading at a third grade level. In fairness, Martin said the mandate comes with no additional money. Still social promotion is a problem that only becomes worse down the line. We’ve learned that hard lesson as we try to improve dropout and graduation rates. Social promotion is not a solution.
People are held accountable in jobs. Children are held accountable by teachers and parents. Schools are held accountable by the public. The public has a right to know which schools are succeeding and failing and expect third graders to be reading at a third grade level.
Some WCPSS board members need to learn accountability is not a one-way street.