After this weekend's big NY Times article about NYC's Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's "rethinking" of how to makeover the public school system, the Department of Education announces that schools would be graded each year. Plus, parents, teachers and students will have to complete satisfaction surveys that will enter into the analysis. What's interesting is that the DoE will concentrate on schools' teast scores as a barometer of success; from the Times:

Mr. Klein and his aides said the most critical factor in deciding the schools' grades would be how individual students' test scores improve from one year to the next. So, for example, a school where students make great strides but do not ultimately score on grade level could receive a good grade, while a school in which most students are on grade level could get a low mark if their test scores do not improve from the year before.

We'd imagine it would take these things into account, because what about schools that perform well and don't have much room to move with test scores? One interesting thing is that the DoE will also monitor inidividual students over time to gauge their success in the school system. The principals' union isn't too pleased, while the teachers' union is wary. The Post speaks to one high school principal who was part of the pilot program - his experience was positive, but maybe that's because his school was in good shape to begin with.

Check out the DoE's announcement about the "Accountability Initiatives".