(a) In addition to any other labels or designations assigned to public schools and public school districts pursuant to a federal, state, school, district, or other assessment or accountability system, the State Superintendent of Education, consistent with the provisions of this chapter, shall develop a school grading system reflective of school and district performance. The grading system shall utilize the traditional A, B, C, D, or F framework.
(1) Schools receiving a grade of "A" are making excellent progress.
(2) Schools receiving a grade of "B" are making above average progress.
(3) Schools receiving a grade of "C" are making satisfactory progress.
(4) Schools receiving a grade of "D" are making less than satisfactory progress.
(5) Schools receiving a grade of "F" are failing to make adequate progress.
(b) In developing this school grading system, the State Superintendent of Education shall seek input from parents, teachers, school administrators, existing State Department of Education advisory groups or task forces, and other education stakeholders on how the system can properly reflect not only the overall academic proficiency of each public school but also the academic improvements made by each public school, along with other key performance indicators that give a total profile of the school or the school system, or both.
(c) The State Superintendent of Education shall prescribe the design and content of the school grading system by not later than December 31, 2012. It is the intent of the Legislature that the system be in place by not later than the 2013-2014 school year. The system may not be utilized by the State Superintendent of Education or the State Department of Education until sufficient rules have been promulgated by the State Department of Education pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.
(d) Using an easy to understand grading scale, the school grading system shall describe achievement in the state, each district, and each school. Additionally, the State Superintendent of Education shall not be precluded from also assigning grades to school feeder patterns or grades that reflect the fiscal health and fiscal efficiency of a school or school system.
(e) The State Superintendent of Education shall make these grades available to the general public, and shall post these grades on the website of the State Department of Education as soon as the grades are available. Additionally, appropriate grade information shall be delivered to the parent or guardian of each public school student at least once annually in the same manner that student report cards are currently delivered.
(f) Using state-authorized assessments and other key performance indicators that give a total profile of the school or the school system, or both, a school's grade, at a minimum, shall be based on a combination of student achievement scores, achievement gap, college and career readiness, learning gains, and other indicators as determined by the State Superintendent of Education to impact student learning and success. The school grading system shall be consistently applied so that grades of one school or system may be compared to the grades of any other school or system.