We don't give A+s or even As these days. In this age of CC Standards and APP Reviews, we've abandoned those "old school" ideas for number ratings (1-4) that correspond to rubrics that refer to standards for students, teachers, and even administrators.
Thus, it was both exciting and a bit disconcerting, as well as major league "old school," to find out that based on some formula that I am not quite sure is an objective analysis, my school earned an A+ as an Overall Niche Grade! Yet, crazy as it seems, it got MY HEART pumping and I was proud as punch to share the good news about our GREAT GRADE with all my friends and colleagues on social media (even though I really can't figure out the formula they used for this rating!).
Then, I came back down to earth with a realistic bang! While we'll take the accolade, whatever it means and however it was determined, there are many, many, many wonderful schools, just like mine, staffed by many, many. many wonderful teachers, just like those in my hallway, who also work tirelessly with students and parents, just like we do and are also deserving of a top 30 ranking. We're all in the trenches trying to effectively balance curricula demands and timeless values, like helping our students want to be life-long readers, writers, and learners.
There is a message in all this excitement! We all need/deserve/ want praise and recognition for our efforts. Our students need/deserve/ want to have feedback on how they are doing. Teachers also need/deserve/want feedback on how they are doing. It may be "old school," but an A+ still puts a smile on your face.