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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough school district: Pepin Middle School needs to lose its grade



In a postscript to last week's release of school grades: It's not every day the school district officials go to bat for a charter.

But when Tallahassee issued those dreaded grades last week, no one liked what happened to Pepin Middle School.

The east Tampa trailblazer in learning-disabled education got an F.

The reaction was swift from the Hillsborough County school district. "It is unclear how the incorrect grade was assigned to the charter school," officials wrote. "At this time, the school should not have a letter grade assigned, and should not have been included in the school grade release today. The Florida Department of Education is expected to correct the grade when corrections are made."

Pepin officials say they were told that a typographical error was behind the mistake. Schools that primarily serve students with learning disabilities -- exceptional student education centers, in other words -- are supposed to be rated, not given letter grades. DOE spokeswoman Cheryl Etters said the rating for Pepin has not yet been determined.

Crisha Scolaro, founder of Pepin Academies, wants the matter resolved and issued this statement:

"Going to a population of more than 500 students this coming school year, we the staff and families appreciate the Hillsborough County District and representatives from the Department of Education in the State of Florida helping to correct this mistake as soon as possible."

For what it's worth, Scolaro added, nearly 80 percent of thie students made gains this year in reading and math.

[Last modified: Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:12am]


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