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ExcelinEd Statement on Utah’s A-F School Grading

Reform News

  • Standards and Accountability

    Standards and Accountability

    Students and schools must be held to high academic standards, with their progress measured and results reported in simple, transparent formats. The Foundation supports standardized measurement of student learning, including annual comprehensive end-of-course assessments in elementary, middle and high school, as well as grading schools on an A-F scale – just like students.

September 3, 2013

Contact: Press Office

TALLAHASSEE, FL. – Today, Utah State Superintendent Martell Menlove released A-F school grades for the 2012-2013 school year. This is the first time the state used the new system to evaluate schools with a single letter grade.

Fifty-six percent of Utah public schools earned either an A or a B. Eleven percent of Utah’s 855 public schools earned an A, 45 percent a B, 30 percent a C, 10 percent a D and 4 percent an F.

“We congratulate Utah on implementing an accountability system that’s both transparent and understandable,” said Patricia Levesque, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd). “With the clear results from an A-F grading program, Utah is placing a strong focus on student performance. Parents and students are finally getting the clarity they deserve. We applaud Utah for recognizing both achievement and growth. All children have the capacity to learn; we just need to teach them.”

School grading was originally proposed by Senator Wayne Niederhauser (R) in 2011 as a replacement to Utah’s U-PASS system and as a tool to providing clear performance data to parents and students.

Similar to systems adopted in 15 other states and New York City, Utah’s A-F school grading clearly communicates school performance through easy-to-understand A, B, C, D and F labels. Utah’s SB271 (3rd Substitute), signed into law on April 3, 2013, establishes a school grading system in which a school annually is designated a grade of A, B, C, D, or F based on the performance of the school’s students on statewide assessments. For a high school, the graduation rate and measures that indicate college and career readiness are evaluated.

To learn more about A-F school grading and states making student-centered reforms throughout the country, visit