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Whitmer signs bill scrapping A-F grading system for schools

Seven Republicans join Democrats to support bill ending Michigan’s grading system for schools

The Michigan Department of Education will no longer offer an A-F grade for public schools in Michigan after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4166 of 2023 on Monday.

With Whitmer’s signature, the letter grading system created in the final days of Gov. Rick Snyder’s tenure was short-lived, lasting from 2019 to 2023.

House Bill 4166 was introduced on March 3 by State Rep. Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, and referred to the House Education Committee. It passed the full House on March 27 with bipartisan support, in a 63-45-2 vote.

Read it for yourself: House Bill 4166

Bill history: House Bill 4166

Joining the 56 members of the Democratic caucus to support the bill were seven House Republicans:

  • Joseph Aragona
  • Steve Carra
  • James DeSana
  • Joseph Fox
  • Neil Friske
  • Matt Maddock
  • Josh Schriver

The full Senate approved the bill on May 3 by a 20-18 margin. That vote went along party lines.

Whitmer signed the bill Monday.

The Mackinac Center opposed House Bill 4166.

Education policy director Molly Macek warned in March that House Bill 4166 “would decrease school accountability.” Repealing the grading system would make school performance “less transparent for parents and the public,” she added.

“A school’s public-facing performance tool should be simple and easily interpreted,” Macek wrote. “If not, it becomes ineffective at holding schools accountable.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.