LANSING (WWJ) – Lawmakers in Lansing are discussing school colors, but it’s not about school spirit.

Hearings are being held in the State House regarding a bill which would fund Common Core Standards for state schools — a system which calls for every student in a grade to be taught the same thing at the same time.

If the House Education Committee approves the Common Core Standards bill, it will move on to the full House.

Lawmakers are also discussing the Michigan Department of Education’s use of a color coded score card system which indicates the schools that are not measuring up.

Michigan State Representative Pete Lund isn’t a fan of the color-coding system.

“Green, lime, yellow, orange, red,” Lund said.  “Why are we using a Bert and Ernie score system here instead of one that maybe people can really understand?”

Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services Venessa Keesler responded to Lund’s concern.

“We said, ‘Well, what’s intuitive?’; at the time we did that, we used just a basic stop light— red, yellow, green,” Keesler said.  “We heard from the field they wanted more differentiation in colors.”

And that’s why lime and orange were added to the scoring system, Kessler said.

“Well I think the addition of the two other colors made it a little harder but it did provide for more differentiation,” Keesler said.  “Again, we really work with stakeholders when they said they wanted more differentiation.  The stakeholders we worked with at that point were not in favor of grades.  As we move forward we do have some ideas.”

Lund isn’t convinced of the method’s  practicality.

“The color thing to me is just something people don’t understand,” Lund said.  “But again, I don’t know any five color stop lights anymore.”

RELATED: State Unveils Color Coded Schools Ranking System


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