School letter grades debated

A bill set for House debate on Monday would politicize the issuance of letter grades to public schools, the executive director of an education group said Friday.

The proposal, House Bill 466, would require a change in state plans for how high schools are graded.

Without the proposal, backers said, new rules will make ACT results a major part of letter grades for high schools and have a negative affect on the results.

But Polly Broussard, executive director of the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana, or A+PEL, said the bill would add a needless level of bureaucracy to the grading process.

Broussard criticized parts of the bill that would ban the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from changing grading policies without first winning approval from the House and Senate education committees.

“We should not further politicize Louisiana’s school grading system by adding another layer of bureaucracy and politics to an already sensitive subject,” Broussard said in a prepared statement.

The new grading system is set to take effect for the ratings that apply to the 2012-13 school year.

The bill would keep the same, pre-ACT scoring methods that the state used to determine grades for the 2011-12 school year.

It won approval in the House Education Committee 9-6.