Hillsborough superintendent praises schools while calling for more oversight in calculations of school grades
At her yearly back-to-school news conference on Friday, Hillsborough Superintendent MaryEllen Elia listed these high points of 2013 in the district:
- 62 National Merit Semifinalists were named, up from 43 in 2012.
- There were 32 National Hispanic Scholars, the most ever.
- Fourth and 10th graderws had the second highest writing scores in the state and eighth graders had the third highest.
- Sixty percent of elementary and middle schools earned an A or B despite tougher state standards.
- The district's high schools were featured prominently in rankings by the Washington Post and Newsweek.
In the coming year, parents can expect tighter security as part of a $1.6-million "hardening" process that is 85 percent complete.
Acknowledging the difficulties that persist in calculating growth rates accurately for the purposes of issuing school grades, and that the entire process needs more oversight so educators can have confidence in the results, Elia said she continues to support the concept of accountability for schools.
"I believe that Florida has been a leader in accountability and we need to remain a leader in accountability," she said.