Arizona Senate OKs using letter grades for schools

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona's public schools would get letter grades as the labels used on school achievement profiles under legislation approved by the Senate.

The state's accountability program now uses word labels such as excelling, performing and failing to label schools based on test results and other data.

The bill approved Monday and sent to the House on a 21-8 vote would change the current excelling label to an "A'' letter grade, highly performing to "B," performing to "C," underperforming to "D'' and failing to "F."

Most schools now have either highly performing or performing labels. On the two ends of the scale, there are more excelling schools than failing ones.

The change would take effect in 2011.