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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Board of Education vice chairman speaks against school grade rule proposal

28

December

Florida Board of Education vice chairman John Padget, long a vocal proponent of tougher academic standards, on Monday expressed his disappointment with commissioner Pam Stewart's proposed school grading rules in a letter to his colleagues.

Stewart's grading simulation, released earlier in December, would allow schools with less than 50 percent of points in the grading system to receive a C.

Padget contends her model isn't good enough.

"SB 1642 identifies C as 'schools making satisfactory progress,'" he writes, adding parenthetically, "In my view, the C classification should be reserved for those schools achieving at least 50% of what stakeholders would reasonably expect."

He also questions the lowering of the percentage of points needed to make an A, down to 62 percent. In the bigger picture, Padget adds, he finds the proposed system does not meet the goal of being "transparent, easy to explain, easy to interpret, and understandable for all stakeholders."

Paget proposes three alternative options for his colleagues to consider, each of which would increase the levels needed to achieve the letter grades from the commissioner's recommendation. He describes each this way:

Option 1. An A is 70% or above, with equidistant differences of 10 percentage points between grades A, B, C, D, and F. All C schools score 50% or above.
Option 2. An A is 70% or above, with equidistant differences to B, C, and D, but D contains a larger population of schools "making less than satisfactory progress," as defined in SB 1642. All C schools score 50% or above.
Option 3. Lowers the bar to 65% for an A school, and grants a C to some schools achieving less than 50% of what stakeholders would reasonably expect. All levels are equidistant.

The State Board is set to vote on school grading rules and Florida Standards Assessments cut scores when it meets Jan. 6. The outcome will affect school recognition funds, which the Legislature has continued to fund, and it comes shortly before students return to another round of testing.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 9:53am]

    

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