SBE indicates A-F letter grades are preliminary – What now?

The State Board of Education posted 2016-2017 A-F Letter grades for schools to its website on Monday, but they were not finalized as expected. Instead, SBE said in a guidance document that these grades remain preliminary, and may be further refined by public input, as well as guidance from its newly formed Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC was created at the September 25 regular board meeting, but it was expected that the committee would focus on refining the A-F model for future years. According to the most recent guidance from SBE, the board will consider recommendations from the TAC prior to finalizing 2016-2017 A-F letter grades.

Unfortunately, this last-minute change potentially complicates things for schools that have already publicly released letter grades either of their own accord or due to records requests by the media. It’s not known at this time what sort of adjustments, if any, may be made to the model. It is possible, however, that the letter grades publicly released by the department of education last week, and posted by SBE on Monday, may change as a result of any adjustments made.

This is yet another twist in the process of letter grade issuance, as all education organizations, including ASBA, were under the impression the model had been finalized and the process would be concluded for most schools on October 9th. Currently, there are 98 schools that are rated “NR,” meaning insufficient amounts of data were available to award a statistically valid letter grade, while an additional 276 letter grades are “under review,” presumably due to pending appeal requests or other data issues that need to be addressed. SBE has not said what the timeline will be for resolving these issues.

If you wish to appear in person to provide feedback on the A-F Letter Grade system, you can do so at one of the times listed here, or you may send feedback to  inbox@azsbe.az.gov. Alternatively, you may also enter a question here, and ASBA staff will attempt to get the answer for you within 24 hours by clicking here.

Proposed changes to ASBA Bylaws is underway – voting begins Nov. 2 – Dec. 4

The process for communicating with you, our member boards, on proposed changes to the ASBA Bylaws is underway. It is important for you to be up-to-date on the proposals and prepared for your board to vote during the Nov. 2 to Dec. 4 online voting period.

A letter was mailed to all members on Monday, Oct. 2 with information on proposed changes to ASBA Bylaws and voting instructions for your board. An email was sent to all member districts on Monday, Oct. 9 which included three important documents:

  • Model agenda
  • Summary of the proposed changes
  • NEW mark-up document which includes current bylaws which provides a side-by-side comparison of the current bylaw and the proposed change for Proposals A-H, as well as the background for each proposal

Your board may find this helpful in considering how you will vote on the proposals. The voting link will be sent to each member district board on November 2. The board’s one designee may be a member of the board, the board secretary or the superintendent. The designee will click on the provided link to submit the results of the board vote, including the date on which the board took action.

Electronic voting will open on November 2, 2017, and close at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.

Participate in the Be the Change Video Contest – 50 of your students win a private keynote and GCU tour!

Win the exciting opportunity for 50 students from your school district to meet 2017 ASBA-ASA Annual Conference keynote speaker Ravi Huthseeing for an exclusive educational and motivation presentation designed just for them on the Grand Canyon University campus in Phoenix.

When: Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Where: Grand Canyon University, Phoenix

This experience also includes a catered lunch and small group campus tours, led by GCU student leaders. Transportation costs to GCU* will be reimbursed and lunch will be provided at no cost. Participating students must be in grades 6 to 12.

Contest Deadline: Monday, Oct. 30, 2017.
The winning school district will be notified by Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Learn more here.

A NATIONAL ARTICLE ON ESAs in Arizona - Class Dismissed: When a state divests from public education

By Alexandria Neason, Harper’s Magazine

The E.S.A. program has become part of a national debate over the relevance of facts in policy-making. “The expansion is really not about choice, because Arizona already has unlimited choice — families can go wherever they want right now,” Tim Ogle, the executive director of the Arizona School Boards Association, told me, referring to the borderless districts. “It’s about privatization, which is very different conceptually.” He went on, “The expansion has to do with public money in private schools, where there’s no accountability, financially or educationally…Read full article

ASBA Events

ASBA-ASA 60th Annual Conference, Dec. 13-15, 2017

Register now! This year’s Annual Conference will provide thought provoking general session speakers, informative breakout sessions on best school practices, award recognition for excellence in education and the opportunity to interact with over 100 exhibitors that provide products and services for your schools.

Don’t forget about the Annual Pre-Conference which is designed to give districts give district leadership teams the information and resources they need to move from data to action! Participants will imagine what their districts and schools could be while seeking ways to operate from where they are using the lenses of school board leadership and the imperative to use data-driven decision making. Network and learn from colleagues across Arizona and engage with experts in an interactive day of learning.

View the agenda.

Legislative Workshop is back with vengeance! November 17, 2017

Register now! This fast-paced, one- day conference is back with a special focus on “Examining the trade-offs of school choice.” School choice comes at a financial, social and academic costs. Learn the unintended consequences of school choice and how educators can respond. A preview of the coming legislative session, tips for communicating with your local elected officials and other topics that impact K-12 education also will be presented.View the agenda.

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