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Three Pasco schools win state grade appeals

A fourth has its request rejected, leaving it with an “incomplete” mark.
Pasco High School's state grade for 2019 remains an "incomplete," with state officials finding not enough students were tested.
Published Sep. 16
Updated Sep. 16

School district officials across Florida like to say the letter grades the state issues to schools annually do not provide a full picture of the student learning that occurs.

But they’re also quick to challenge the grades they disagree with, particularly the “incomplete" marks that sometimes get attached. Those "I" ratings come for two reasons — too few students tested, or concerns about compromised testing.

District administrators say they’d rather have an actual grade of A through F, providing a base to work from and also clearing the way to qualify for state recognition funds if the score is good enough.

Four Pasco County schools given an "I" filed appeals with the Department of Education. Three of them won their appeals.

Mittye P. Locke Elementary, at one point threatened by the district with closure, received a C. That’s down from a B the previous year.

Gulf High School got a C for the fourth consecutive year. Pasco eSchool received an A for the third year in a row.

The fourth school — Pasco High — did not have its “incomplete” overturned. Deputy commissioner for accountability Juan Copa wrote to the district that the school’s data was not considered representative of the school’s progress, and as a result commissioner Richard Corcoran denied its appeal.

The "I" stands. It’s the first time since the state began issuing letter grades that a Pasco district school that’s not an alternative campus has not gotten a letter grade.

“The district is advised to work with all schools, including this one, to ensure that 95 percent or more of the school’s students are tested each year,” Copa wrote.

The state also reviewed the “incomplete” marks for three district alternative schools and one charter school that has since closed, even though no one appealed them. It kept the rating in place for Achieve Center of Pasco, Schwettman Education Center, Irvin Education Center and Pasco Mycroschool.

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  1. First-year Cox Elementary School teacher Kevin Knibbs, 33, of Dade City, answers questions about the components of time: hours, minutes, seconds, to his third-grade class on Monday, September 30, 2019, at the school in Date City. From left are students Angel Young, 8, Arlene Luna, 8, and Jahkia Gray, 8. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
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  3. Former Pasco County Corrections Officer Wendy Miller, 57 runs towards gunfire with instructor Chris Squitieri during active shooter drills taught by Pasco County Sheriff's Office at Charles S. Rushe Middle School in Land O' Lakes. These drills are put are a larger training program for the Guardian program that will staff elementary schools with trained armed guards.  LUIS SANTANA   |   Times "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
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  7. Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins, left, looks on while school board chair Tammy Shamburger speaks on newly raised concerns of a undiscovered cemetery for indigent African Americans that may be within the vicinity of King High School in Tampa, Florida on Friday, October 18, 2019.  OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. Joanne Glenn, Pasco eSchool principal, addresses the eSchool faculty on opening day of teacher preplanning week in 2018. Pasco eSchool is launching its first online dual-enrollment courses in conjunction with Pasco-Hernando State College in the second semester.  GAIL DIEDERICH | Special to the Times
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  9. Challenger K-8 School students, from left, Jeremy Gonzalez, 13, Jackson Hoyt, 12, Benjamin Harper, 12, and Gianni Labdar, 12, finish meals consisting of fresh salads, quesadillas and nachos during a lunch service on Oct. 15 at the school in Spring Hill during the county's Fresh from Florida Plate Day event. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
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  10. The University of South Florida revealed a new plan for the school's consolidation Thursday morning. Unlike the first plan presented in September, it promises a high level of authority to leaders on campuses in St. Petersburg, shown here, and Sarasota. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
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