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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida school grades will be 'inaccurate,' Hillsborough superintendent tells parents



Count Hillsborough County schools superintendent Jeff Eakins among the unimpressed with the Florida Board of Education's recent adoption of a new state school grading formula.

Two days after the board's vote, Eakins sent an email home to parents reminding them of all the problems superintendents have with the issuance of school grades based on the first-year data from a troubled new test.

He suggested that parents put little stock in what he deemed "inaccurate" grades.

"Remember, the 2014-2015 baseline grades will not include English Language Arts (ELA) and Math learning gains, which I believe is necessary for determining annual school performance," Eakins wrote. "Learning gains show the great work that our teachers have accomplished with students to help them achieve a year's worth of growth or more. By eliminating learning gains and only including proficiency scores, the state grade reflects an inaccurate representation of our students' yearly achievement. Additionally, there have been questions about the overall validity of this assessment."

Eakins aimed to reassure parents, writing that he had "total confidence" in the district's teachers, and adding that they will use the baseline testing data as a "starting point" for providing instruction. 

Now just wait and see whether Hillsborough schools still celebrate their A's once the formal grades are released in February. See more of Eakins' views on the district-produced video below.

[Last modified: Monday, January 11, 2016 10:28am]


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