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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Behind the school grade errors



It would have been hard to miss the news that the state miscalculated school grades, causing more than 200 schools statewide to get a lower, incorrect grade. (See our story from Friday here.) The Miami Herald reported Monday that the state forgot to apply part of its grading formula to all eligible students.

The grading formula has become more and more complicated since the state first started grading schools more than a decade ago. For anyone who wants to get a detailed look at how it works, check out this guide released in June. The specific piece forgotten by the state Department of Education is listed on page 2, number 6.

Here it is:

Additional weighting for prior-year low performers making more than expected gains

Students who have prior-year FCAT 2.0 scores at level 1 or 2, and SWDs who have prior-year FAA scores at level 1, 2, or 3, will be weighted more heavily in the learning gains numerator if they increase their score by an amount that is at least 33% greater than the minimum amount of increase that would be required on the FCAT 2.0 vertical scale or on FAA scores to qualify for learning gains.

The students who qualify for the extra weighting are counted at a weighting of 1.1 in the learning gains numerator instead of 1.0.  The extra weighting also applies to FCAT 2.0 scores in the Low 25% learning gains calculation.

Example:  A 4th grader scoring at level 1 in FCAT 2.0 Reading in the prior year would need to increase his/her score by at least 16 scale points to qualify for extra weighting.  (The minimum amount of increase for learning gains is 12 additional points [see table], and 33% more than 12 = 16.)  This application of the new provision is limited to students with current and prior-year FCAT 2.0 scores (i.e., does not apply to Algebra 1 EOC scores) because measurement of the score increase is based on the FCAT 2.0 vertical scale.


Students tested on the FAA in the current and prior year would need to show a raw score increase of at least 7 points to qualify for extra weighting.


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:10pm]


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