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Texas Senate Gives First OK to Grading Schools A Through F

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Nathan Bernier/KUT News
Texas Senators voted preliminarily to pass a bill on March 30, 2015, that would give Texas public schools a letter grade based on standardized test scores.

The Texas Senate is moving forward with a proposal to assign letter grades to Texas public schools.

Supporters say this bill would boost failing schools, while opponents say these grades will stigmatize schools and create more of a problem. 

State Sen. Larry Taylor, a Friendswood Republican, says his bill, SB 6, would empower parents. They’d have more information about how their children’s schools are doing once their school gets an A through F grade based on standardized test scores.

"I guarantee they know there’s a C out there, they’ll know there’s a B or an A — that their school could be better," he said on the Senate floor. 

Sen. Taylor says parents could then push their local district to improve that school.

But Democratic State Sen. Royce West from Dallas says adding resources, like staff and programs, will improve schools, not letter grades. 

"This is a bad idea because the majority of schools that will be stigmatized, further stigmatized, are going to be minority and high poverty," West said. "That’s what’s going to happen, Senator."

If approved, the measure wouldn’t be implemented until the 2017-18 school year. The Senate is expected to take a final vote on the bill today, before it goes to the House. 

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