Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: What we know about the A-F school grading system passed by the House

Good morning!

Education leaders across the state were trying to catch up yesterday on the A-F school grading bill that passed the House at 3 a.m. Although the bill in question — HB 5526 — has been around for months, what passed in the wee hours yesterday morning had some crucial differences that prompted sharp criticism from some school leaders and advocates.

Lori had the details yesterday. Also, note that we did get one detail wrong in yesterday’s Rise & Shine about the commission that will be created by the bill. That commission will oversee the creation of the grades but will not develop the system.

There are important stories in today’s roundup, including Koby’s report on the early success of an innovative program that has been working with babies to develop their language skills. Also, check out last night’s episode of Detroit Public Television’s One Detroit. The program offered an in-depth look at the problems caused by Detroit children frequently changing schools — a follow up on the Moving Costs series we published with Bridge Magazine in October.

Scroll down for more — and have a great weekend!

— Erin Einhorn, bureau chief


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


A-F The newly approved bill requiring A-F grades includes consequences for schools that get poor marks. What’s not clear is what those consequences could look like. Chalkbeat Bridge

FURY The A-F bill could supercede a grading system that’s been in the works in Detroit for months. The prospect led Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to blast the process as “colonialism” and to accuse lawmakers of treating Detroiters like “third-class” citizens. Michigan Radio The Detroit News

INNOVATIVE A newspaper columnist says the A-F bill makes sense, as does another bill just passed by the House. That one would let some districts apply for “innovative” status to be exempt from state rules like those governing the number of hours students have to be in school. The Detroit News

TESTING The head of a testing company that helps schools measure student improvement says there are important lessons to be learned by the proposed Detroit rating system. Learning Policy Institute

VOCABULARY A successful program that outfits babies and toddlers with recording devices to capture their communications at home started in Detroit last year with 50 parent-child pairs, and will be expanding to include another 150 families. Chalkbeat

HUBS The main Detroit district is opening two family hubs where students and their families can access a range of government services. Fox2