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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida school grade reactions



Florida's first round of school grades under its new scoring system has brought out many comments of praise and criticism. Here's what some people are saying.

FEA president Andy Ford: “The formula to calculate school grades is extremely elaborate and complicated The State Board of Education (SBOE) has changed the proficiency levels and point requirements used to calculate school grades numerous times over the years. One year’s “A” could be the next year’s “C” based solely on a formula calculation. These changes make it virtually impossible to compare and judge the quality of public schools.” 

House Speaker Will Weatherford: "Once again, Florida’s students have risen to the occasion and demonstrated they were up to the task of higher standards and elevated expectations.  Florida’s parents and teachers should take great pride in knowing they helped prepare students for some of the toughest testing standards since the FCAT came into existence. While not every school experienced the same year-over-year gains, history shows that any dips that occur after standards are increased are temporary. The short term pain produces significant long term gains to the benefit of students and their futures.”

Patricia Levesque, Foundation for Florida's Future: “Florida is in its own race to the top, and we have to raise the bar. In a changing world filled with careers that increasingly require critical thinking and problem-solving skills, we need to help all Florida students rise to higher standards that will prepare them for success.”

Christine Bramuchi, Fund Education Now: "Even Commissioner Robinson admits these lower grades 'do not necessarily mean that the schools, teachers or students are not doing as well as they were before.' The state knows that FCAT is not reliable, still it insists on making these faulty grades count. Schools will still be sanctioned and fined. Children will still be retained, bright kids will be forced into remediation and seniors will still be denied diplomas. Despite the growing objection to high-stakes tests like FCAT, the BOE clings to this unreliable, ineffective yardstick.  What kind of a state purposely uses a faulty instrument to hurt children and harm their schools?"

Gov. Rick Scott: "It is never easy to raise the standards for excellence in education. This year is no exception. But every time we raise the expectations of our students and teachers, they ultimately get better in later years. Simply put, raising the bar works."

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 1:59pm]


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