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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Principal says Imagine charter school's F grade not fair



Are some F grades more defensible than others? The state’s grading formula excluded many of the highest performing students at Imagine charter school in St. Petersburg because they were home schooled or in private schools last year, skewing the results, principal Dawn Wilson tells the Gradebook. According to Wilson, 46 of 102 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders tested on the FCAT at the first-year school did not have matching scores from last year.

“It’s not particularly fair,” Wilson said. “I know that sounds childish … (but) the state grading system is inherently flawed.”

Imagine and Gibbs High were Pinellas County’s only F schools this year.

Despite the F, Wilson said no families have left the school and, in fact, the school continues to expand. Imagine ended the spring with 350 students and has enrolled 500 for the fall, she said. “The word of mouth from our families speaks more than our school grade,” she said.

This letter from Wilson to Imagine parents offers a more detailed explanation for the school's grade. A co-founder of another new Imagine school in Tallahassee offered a similar defense for its F here.

Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:28am]


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