Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Early look at school grades shows up and downs as Florida pivots to a new system

Tampa Bay area schools saw a variety of results in their state grades delivered to districts late Thursday, with many showing improvement and several dropping a level.

The results, which the Tampa Bay Times obtained a day before their public release, show Hillsborough County elementary and middle schools logged in 98 A grades, compared with 61 a year ago. At the same time, the district had seven F-rated schools, up from five.

Hernando County's sole F-graded school from 2013 improved to a C, while its three A-rated schools held firm.

Pasco County saw five schools drop to F grades, from none the previous year. Two schools rose from B to A, but 10 dropped from A to B.

Five Pinellas schools that overhauled their staffs and were targeted for special help got no traction in their first year as "turnaround" schools: Melrose, Fairmount Park and Maximo elementaries kept their F grades, as did Azalea Middle School; Pinellas Park Middle remained a D school.

Some district officials worried that their school grades would not look good because they had begun making the transition from Florida's old academic standards to the new Common Core-based standards this year, while their students were evaluated with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

The FCAT measures the standards that are being jettisoned.

The current grading system also is being revised, after facing heavy criticism for being unfair with constantly changing measures.

Some administrators said they expected to see marks that would not reflect the true nature of their students' performance.

Superintendents across Florida have called for a three-year transition period to the new accountability system, with no penalties assessed during that period. The Legislature approved a one-year pause, starting in the fall.

Education commissioner Pam Stewart has said that this year, the schools should have been teaching the old standards on the FCAT, and the grades should reflect that.

District officials will be considering next steps as they assess the grades in the coming days.

Among the more notable results:

• Hernando County's Eastside Elementary, its only F school last year, improved to a C.

• A longtime Pinellas magnet school accustomed to higher grades — John Hopkins Middle — got its first F. And a preK-8 school that is attracting more families, James B. Sanderlin, received its first A.

• Pasco's Lacoochee Elementary, which restaffed its faculty as part of a turnaround effort, raised its grade from D to C. Its other turnaround school, Hudson Elementary, remained at a D. Five schools, including Gulf Highlands, which had improved from an F in 2011, received F grades.

• Four of Hillsborough's five F-rated schools from last year raised their grades, including one — Woodmont Charter — to a C. Four D-rated schools improved to B, and three made A's. But Riverhills Elementary Magnet, created to turn around a persistently struggling school, earned an F despite its efforts.

Contact Jeffrey S. Solochek at jsolochek@tampabay.com or (813) 909-4614. Follow @jeffsolochek.

Early look at school grades shows up and downs as Florida pivots to a new system 07/10/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 10, 2014 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trumps travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, the New York Times reports, citing officials familiar with the plans.

    President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans said Friday. The new restrictions, aimed at preventing security threats from entering the United States, could go into effect Sunday after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration's original travel ban. Though the restrictions would differ for each country, people living in the targeted nations could be prevented from traveling to the United States or could face increased scrutiny as they seek to obtain a visa. [Associated Press]
  2. New World Brewery is closing. Where will all its concerts go now?

    Blogs

    Ever since it was announced that New World Brewery was closing its beloved Ybor City location and relocating to a spot farther north, there’s been an outpouring of nostalgia from artists, promoters and fans throughout the Tampa Bay music scene.

    Allison Weiss performed at New World Brewery in 2015.
  3. Farewell, New World Brewery: 11 Tampa music scene regulars toast a beloved venue

    Blogs

    It's hard to put into words what New World Brewery has meant to the Tampa music scene over the past 22 years.

    Matt Burke and Have Gun, Will Travel, shown performing at New World Brewery in 2009. Burke credits the venue with shaping how the band wanted to develop.
  4. Betsy DeVos rescinds Obama-era rules on campus sexual assault

    Blogs

    Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has said over and over again that sexual assault on campus is an issue she wants to get right.

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
  5. In dollars: How valuable are Florida's university football programs?

    Business

    The University of Florida football program is valued in a new study at $682 million, making it the most valuable university team in the state but still worth far less than several college programs topping $1 billion. Four years ago, UF's program was valued at just under $600 million.

    The University of Florida football program is valued at  $682 million, making it the most valuable by far in the Sunshine State. Pictured are UF cheerleaders leading the crowd in a Gator cheer on Clearwater Beach last December during the Outback Bowl Beach Day on Clearwater Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]