Florida Department of Education rules on school grade appeals
A couple of Tampa Bay area schools have benefited from their school grade appeals to the state after the initial grades were released, according to notifications sent to districts this week.
Bloomingdale High School in Valrico had its mark boosted from C to B, after the Florida Department of Education agreed that two students had been included in the wrong testing categories. Marchman Technical College had its F grade removed, and was given no grade, after department officials found that the students at the school were in specialty programs that no longer are there.
Several schools that appealed their grades saw no change. Those were Maniscalco Elementary in Lutz, Pivot Charter School in Riverview, San Antonio Elementary in San Antonio and Athenian Academy charter school in New Port Richey. Several Hillsborough middle schools -- McLane, Van Buren, Jennings, Mann, Memorial and Turkey Creek -- appealed over concerns about the way that students taking eighth-grade math and Algebra I were counted, but all those were denied, as well.
Hillsborough superintendent Jeff Eakins plans to talk about the math calculations when he addresses the Florida Board of Education on Friday.
Schools that sought to get letter grades instead of "Incomplete" ratings received their wishes, along with cautions that they must do more to ensure that at least 95 percent of students are tested. Those were: Blake High (C), Pasco eSchool (B), Anclote High (C), Pasco Virtual Instruction Program (C), Gibbs High (D), Largo High (C), Largo Middle (D) and Dixie Hollins High (C).
Florida's school grading system, the subject of recent criticism amid frequent changes, has been a model for several other states over the years. Lawmakers if one of those states, Utah, lately have been questioning whether the model works any more. See this Salt Lake Tribune story for more on that debate.