- Associated Press - Saturday, December 10, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - State officials say they need more time to sort through complicated issues before adopting a new system for grading Arizona public schools.

The Board of Education will go over a draft plan during a Dec. 19 meeting instead of voting on the new system as expected, reported the Arizona Republic (https://bit.ly/2gwEgLK).

Arizona held off on awarding schools grades A through F in 2014 as a new standardized test, AzMERIT, took effect and replaced AIMS.

State law says the new process for grading schools needs to be in place by next fall.

A group working on the grading system intends to discuss a possible extension with board members.



School officials have said rushing the process wouldn’t solve issues seen in the previous system, like the high correlation between student poverty and low letter grades.

“That’s easier said than done,” said Tim Carter, Yavapai County superintendent and vice president of the Education Board.

Carter oversees the board’s working group.

There was some controversy between the board and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

Board members have been working at repairing that relationship.

The board’s president resigned in August.

“I think that for some time the controversy … distracted folks,” Carter said. “And I think that once those issues were resolved, it allowed us to pivot back to policy. … So I just think that had we started this process in January, it would obviously be better than having started the discussion in September.”

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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