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Michigan House votes to end A-F school quality ranking system

Michigan House members approved a bill Tuesday that would end a system of ranking schools using A through F grades. A different school rating system will continue to exist. (Shutterstock)
  • The Michigan House approved a bill Tuesday that would repeal one of the state’s school quality reporting systems 
  • The bill is sponsored by Democrats but received some bipartisan support. It now heads to the Senate. 
  • The A-F model was passed during a lame-duck session of the Legislature in 2018

LANSING — The Michigan House approved a bill Tuesday that would end one of the state’s school quality ratings systems.

House Bill 4166, sponsored by Rep. Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, would repeal the state’s report card system where schools receive A-F grades in several factors including test scores and graduation rates. 

Democrats have criticized the system as redundant because the state also rates schools on a scale 1 to 100, using many of the same metrics as the A-to-F grades, as part of its federally mandated school accountability system. 


Koleszar told Education Committee members last week that his bill helps avoid “confusion” between the two systems. 

“Giving parents and families contradictory information within two different systems does nothing productive,” Koleszar said. “In fact, the one thing I can assure you is that it causes confusion. When you have two rival systems, the choice is clear: The system that does not meet federal standards is the one that should be repealed.” 

The committee advanced the bill along party lines  earlier Tuesday, with eight Democrats voting for the bill and five Republicans voting against it. 

Rep. Jaime Greene, R-Richmond, spoke against the bill Tuesday afternoon, urging lawmakers to find a system that works for parents and students. “I rise today to advocate for parents’ access to an easy to understand and transparent grading system as they pursue a great education for their children,” she said.

Some House Republicans joined with Democrats Tuesday in the floor vote. In a chamber where Democrats hold a two-member majority, the bill passed with 63 members voting yes and 45 voting no. Two members did not vote. 

The measure now heads to the Senate, which is also controlled by Democrats. 

The A-F system had few supporters amongst educators when the then-Republican-majority Legislature began requiring it in 2018. 

Several school organizations supported the bill ending the A-F ratings, including several intermediate school districts and the Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union. 

Bridge reporter Lauren Gibbons contributed to this report. 

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