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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Education Board considers new school grading formula

23

January

The way Florida grades its public schools will soon be changing.

On Tuesday, the state Board of Education heard an extensive presentation on proposed changes to the school grading formula.

The ideas ran the gamut, from incorporating the test scores of children with disabilities, to giving extra points to students who boost their test scores into the highest range.

Of course, high school grades will have to take into account the new end-of-course exams, which are being given this year in algebra, geometry and biology. Some middle-school students will also be taking the exams –- and the grades given to middle schools need to reflect that, too.

The overall grading formula may also include a mechanism that would raise the bar anytime 75 percent of schools statewide earned either an A or B grade.

Projections show that a new, more rigorous formula could cause a drop in school grades -- for the short term, at least.

“There would likely be a decrease of the number of schools getting As and Bs,” Board of Education Vice Chairman Roberto Martinez said. “That would need to be publicized.”

The board is expected approve a new formula for school grades next month.

Okaloosa County School Superintendent Alexis Tibbetts warned board members to balance performance with progress.

“We have to continue to realize that kids with high performance are certainly important,” Tibbetts said. “But we have to be sure that we are grading schools in a way that rewards progress from kids who are struggling.”

[Last modified: Monday, January 23, 2012 8:12pm]

    

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