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.