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8 schools' failing grades changed

In August, Hillsborough County learned 87 percent of its schools failed to improve under the president's education plan.

Of the county's 213 regular, magnet, charter and specialty schools, only 27 made adequate yearly progress. Most of the A-graded schools failed along with their D-graded counterparts.

But the number of passing schools grew a bit on Thursday.

Eight more local schools were added to the list of schools now considered making the grade under the federal No Child Left Behind law. The schools had appealed their designations.

The schools were among 265 schools statewide whose labels were changed, including 117 that were considered to be making progress and 148 that received no designation primarily because of their small enrollments.

The Hillsborough schools with changed results are Ballast Point, Cimino, Lewis, Limona, Lithia Springs and Northwest elementary schools and Martinez and Progress Village middle schools. Designations were dropped for six juvenile justice facilities and the Metropolitan Ministries and Milburn Academy charter schools.

The new law requires any Title I school, one that is high poverty and receives federal funding, that falls on the list of poor performers two years in a row to allow students to transfer to better-performing public schools. This year, students at Lockhart, Oak Park, Robles and Shaw were allowed to transfer out.

In Florida, under the federal rating system, schools must show that nine specific groups of children _ including those who are poor, minority, disabled and with limited English skills _ are improving on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test in reading and math.

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