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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Mistakes not unusual for Florida Department of Education



The Florida Department of Education announced late Wednesday that the teacher evaluation data it had released — already controversial enough because of the decision to tie results to student test scores — were wrong. Alerted to duplicate records in Hillsborough teacher data, "The department has reviewed all records and found duplicate reporting in some other district reports, as well," according to a department statement.

Revised data should be posted today.

It wasn't exactly the show the department wanted to put on while trying to hire a new commissioner. The department already had its share of embarassments this year, and in years past. Here are some highlights from our files:

July 21, 2012 — More than 200 schools statewide received incorrect grades, a mistake that comes after months of state education officials' efforts to restore confidence in Florida's testing system.

May 15, 2012 — Amid suggestions that Florida schools did not receive adequate information about changing scoring standards for the FCAT writing, the Florida Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously reduced its passing score on the test from 4.0 to 3.0 for purposes of assigning school grades.

Jun 7, 2010 — Florida school superintendents got word late Friday that spring results of this year's FCAT exams won't arrive before school ends, and possibly for weeks. Chancellor Frances Haithcock said in a memo that glitches in student score verification have slowed the release.

March 9, 2010 — Most Florida students will begin taking FCAT exams today, but not students at nine middle schools and one charter school in Hillsborough County. School district officials noticed "something wrong" with the test booklets for those campuses and are awaiting replacements. So students at Bartels, Benito, Buchanan, Giunta, Ferrell, Greco, Rodgers, Shields and Williams middle schools and Trinity charter school will begin the FCAT on Wednesday instead. The state Department of Education said the problem was a shipping mistake.

Jun 12, 2008 — A historic dive in fifth-grade FCAT scores has elementary school principals across Florida questioning the results. State education officials say they triple-checked the results released this week that showed a 5 percent drop in fifth grade reading scores. They had an independent consultant check, too. No problems were found. But Pinellas and Hillsborough school officials are asking the state to check again, a telling sign about the FCAT's cloudy credibility.

May 24, 2007 — State education officials said Wednesday that they botched one of last year's FCAT tests, putting question marks on everything from school grades and student retention to the status of Florida schools under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 6, 2012 6:41am]


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