“In the absence of a summative rating for a school, it becomes very difficult for families to hold schools accountable for what happens within the walls,” said Seth Litt, executive director of Parent Revolution, an organization that helps parents push for better educational opportunities in their neighborhoods including using the “parent trigger” law to take over low-performing schools.
His group, as well as Families in Schools, Innovate Public Schools, Speak UP and Students for Education Reform have launched a petition asking the state Board of Education to adopt an overall rating system.
Litt said even though schools’ API scores haven’t been updated for two years, parents are still relying on them to evaluate a school because it’s something they can understand.
Litt said he is encouraged by some moves the board has made in choosing specific indicators, such as evaluating schools based on climate and how many students are being suspended.
“We just think the state board needs to finish the job and provide an overall summative rating,” he said.
A summative rating might be a number or a letter, or it could be a categorization of a school based on a color (green, yellow or red), or an assessment, such as low, improving, quality or excellent, Litt said. The group is not advocating for a return to the API score.