House gives first round approval to school report card ratings

Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri lawmakers gave first-round approval to legislation that would give public and charter schools an ‘A’ through ‘F’ letter grade rating performance.

The House of Representatives approved the bill Tuesday evening. Under the proposal, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Swan, would give a school a report cared based on a set of criterion in an effort to simply the reporting system.

Floor debate was hushed Tuesday afternoon when House Speaker Tim Jones stood to give a highly unusual speech on the floor, his first since becoming speaker.

“This is an element of the agenda that I laid out for this House,” Jones said, referring to his “triple E” agenda focused on economic development, energy, and education. “It is a small step, but it takes a complicated system and explains it in a very understandable way.”

The bill, HB388, would require another vote in the House to head on to the Senate.

Opponents of the bill have claimed that the system would oversimplify ratings. The Missouri National Education Association and the Missouri School Boards Association testified against the bill.