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Alabama releases letter grades for schools

December 29, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Most Alabama public school systems received a letter grade of B or C, under new school report cards released Friday by the Alabama Department of Public Education.

The letter grades were an improvement over those released for the previous school year. The state overall was given a letter grade of B. Most school systems received a grade of B or C. Fifteen school systems received a grade of A. Ten school systems received a D. No school system received an F.

The individual school and school system grades can be viewed at the education department’s website.

The grades are based not just on the latest test scores, but how much students improve in reading and math from one year to the next.

“Overall, we are pleased with the academic growth that we see across the state. It is a testament to the dedication of our teachers, principals, and all those who support their work that student performance continues to rise,” Alabama Superintendent Eric Mackey said in a statement.

Mackey, who previously led the Alabama School Superintendent Association of Alabama, emphasized that a grade is valuable, but “does not tell us everything about that school or system.”

“When stacked together year after year, similar to snapshots of your family, these pictures of school academic performance certainly can be used to monitor academic progress and growth. But when we describe our children, we use more than snapshots; we talk about their personalities, struggles, challenges, aspirations, successes,” Mackey said.

Alabama lawmakers in 2012 voted to start requiring the report cards, and the A-through-F letter grades, patterned after ones that had been released in Florida.

This is the second academic year that the letter grades have been released.

Rep. Terri Collins, who sponsored the 2012 law, said she is pleased with the academic progress.

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