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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Senate looks to change middle school grading



If you just read the summary of Senate Bill 1844 by Sen. Don Gaetz, you wouldn't know that there's a plan to alter the way the Florida Department of Education grades middle schools.

It's a bill titled "Career and Professional Academies," with a tag at the end of the summary that says "etc."

"Etc.," it turns out, means a new way to calculate a middle school's grade. The new proposed formula would reduce the reliance on FCAT results to 50 percent, adding several new criteria to comprise the remaining half. Those include:

  • Participation and performance of the school's students in career and professional academies 
  • Promotion rate to ninth grade of at-risk eighth-graders
  • Participation and performance in credit recovery courses 

The new system, which is similar to the way Florida now grades its high schools (but with middle school standards), would take effect with the 2012-13 school year. It likely would dramatically alter school grades, as the new high school formula did. The Senate Pre-K-12 Committee is scheduled to debate the bill at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:03pm]


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