Friday, November 24, 2017
Education

Pinellas gets higher grades in 18 schools but keeps its C

RECOMMENDED READING


Nine Pinellas County schools rose from a B to an A and a total of 18 saw improvement when the state recalculated accountability grades, according to a notice issued late Friday night.

While Pinellas and Hernando kept their districtwide C grades, Pasco and Hillsborough changed from C to B.

Statewide, 8 percent of school grades increased.

State officials said the changes reflect preliminary revisions to the initial grades released earlier this month in a year of tougher standards surrounding the state's testing system.

Bracing for lower grades due to the series of rapid changes, state and district officials had warned parents against making year-to-year comparisons.

The revisions involved 213 of the initially graded 2,586 schools.

The grade revision was good for Pinellas County's Fairmount Park Elementary School, which went from an F to a D.

Five Pinellas schools came off the D list: New Heights, Sandy Lane, Mount Vernon and Lakewood elementary schools, and Meadowlawn Middle School, which now are listed with C's.

Moving from a C to a B are James B. Sanderlin, Tarpon Springs and San Jose elementary schools.

Rising from B to A were Azalea, Bardmoor, Garrison-Jones, Northwest, Pinellas Central and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings elementary schools; Fitzgerald and Seminole middle schools; and Plato Academy South K-8 Charter School.

In a statement, state officials described the revisions as part of a customary process to ensure accuracy and transparency.

"School grades are important to students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators and the community," Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson said.

"And, while I am pleased that the continuous review process has resulted in better grades, we will continue to look for ways to improve the grade calculation process."

The grades become final in September.

The past several months have been fraught with criticism of the grading system, fueling a movement to de-emphasize high stakes tests.

In the statement, however, Robinson praised those schools and districts with higher adjusted grades, and the process that brought the changes about.

"The fact that 8 percent of school grades will increase not only affirms the hard work of Florida's students, teachers and district leadership, it demonstrates the value of the continuous review process," he said.

"The strength of our accountability system depends on the partnership between school districts and the department, and these revisions are a direct result of that process."

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected]

Comments
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Published: 11/23/17
Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco schools brought home 20 top honors from the District 11 Junior Thespian Festival, which included 22 schools from Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties and took place at the new River Ridge FAME Academy on Nov. 17 and ...
Published: 11/22/17
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Published: 11/22/17
Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

The thousands of students who signed up for Rita Osborn’s music and humanities classes at St. Petersburg Junior College knew what they had to do to pass.They could study and memorize material for tests, but they wouldn’t earn more than a C if they di...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Wiseman’s cellphone rings at least once a week, usually after 9 p.m., with a call from a desperate parent. The voice on the line is tired, defeated. Once again, their child was excluded from an after-school program or summer cam...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

Six University of South Florida professors whose research efforts span biology, engineering, chemistry and business have been selected as Fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the organization announced Nov. 20.Election ...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

University of Central Florida suspends sorority for hazing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A University of Central Florida sorority has been suspended after its members were accused of hazing, underage drinking and providing false information to law enforcement.The university placed Alpha Xi Delta on an interim suspens...
Published: 11/21/17
10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

Associated PressThe latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans — the most ever in a single Rhodes class — as well as a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before. The Rhodes Tr...
Published: 11/19/17

Class notes

School Calendar• Nov. 27: School resumes after Thanksgiving break• Dec. 22: End of second grading quarter.• Dec. 23-Jan. 7: Winter Break.• Jan. 8: Teacher planning day. No school for students.Arts/Music/TheaterCenter for the Arts at River Ridge Middl...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team captain.Beckm...
Published: 11/22/17