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Florida Gives Wrong Grades To Hundreds Of Schools

Florida Gives Wrong Grades To Hundreds Of Schools

 

The state of Florida, which under Governor Jeb Bush led the reform movement that uses student standardized test scores to grade individual public schools, miscalculated the grades for hundreds of schools and is now changing them.

Florida gives out grades to schools based on the results of the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT). The Board of Education says in this release that it messed up the grades in 40 of the 67 schools, affecting 213 of the initially graded 2,586 schools. Thatís eight percent.

The department says that:
116 school grades changed from a B to an A
55 school grades changed from a C to a B
35 school grades changed from a D to a C
7 school grades changed from an F to a D

According to The Miami Herald, here’s what happened:

Education officials said the error came from the way they weighted studentsí learning gains. The state passed a rule last year saying that students who scored at levels 1 and 2 on last yearís FCAT and got a third more points than was needed to be considered to have made learning gains on the FCAT this year, would receive a weighted learning gains score. But the state failed to include students who were at levels 1 or 2 last year, but scored at higher levels this year when calculating the weighted points.

Hum, I wonder what exactly that means?

All of this points yet again to the reality that placing so much emphasis on the results of standardized tests is just a bad idea. I’ve been a teacher for over 25 years, and I know that standardized test scores are just one way to measure the performance of my students. Sure, go ahead and use them, but use plenty of other measures as well.

In Florida, as in many other states, each year the state hands out A-to-F grades that are used to financially reward top schools and sanction those that get failing marks. The grades are based primarily on student performance on a series of high-stakes tests in reading, math, writing and science.

Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson said he will look for ways to improve the grade calculation process.

“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,” he said in a statement

Let’s face it: standardized tests should not be the only measure of how a school is performing. I did not become a teacher to train my students to do well on filling in the bubbles. We need to do better than that.

 

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61 comments

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5:51AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

dumb

4:27PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

I am a product of standardized testing from the 7th grade on, and really see no problem with it; of course, i had a NY education, where teachers placed emphasis on learning, and not a FL education, where teachers are FORCED to place the emphasis on these tests. In NY we had PSAT's, Regents Exams, SAT's, and more. And no child i knew felt ridiculed if they didn't do well. But now our Governor in FL wants to further cut education budgets, reduce the number of teachers, etc. Errors like these will only escalate and the pressure on our teachers continues.

1:28PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Being in the psychological field myself I can tell you that Standardize tests do more harm them good for children in many different areas of their lives; not just strictly academics. When young kids fail these tests they take it VERY personally and IF they don't then their parents typically do! I have seen and heard of parents going as far as belittling their child(ren)'s intelligence while also enrolling them in programs that strictly focus more on their education. I disagree with this process as a mother and as a professional. Too many parent's are putting too much pressure on their children these days and NOT allowing them to be children. My generation was perfectly fine NOT partaking in standardize tests until HIGH SCHOOL and we seem to be more motivated to live a productive life than generations now a days- because there is so much pressure on educational principals instead of allowing a kid to be a kid and focusing on academics later. That said, IF they show a significant learning disorder or a hinderence in certain subjects then by all means do what needs to be done so that they don't get to middle school and high school and become so overwhelmed they drop out. But while they are in elementary school I think the primary focus should be getting them motivated to like/love school; to foster a love for learning because ultimately whether they decide to further their education in the future or not they will constantly be learning every day for the rest of their lives..so w

12:03PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Once again, Care2, thanks for adding my comment. or not!

12:00PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Luvinia V.

You are correct, except you didn't go far enough with it. The workers got laid off because the big industrialized nation of america outsourced their businesses,jobs and real estate to "other" third world nations. And now, "spoiled" (?) Americans are unwilling to work for the Chain restaurants at slave wages? Think about all the revenue for our Government to work properly is not coming in, therefore with the drag of the military and greed of the big banking industry and the elite 1%, there is pretty much nothing for the working class and the middle classes' because no one has any money to support the Gov. PLUS the elite don't wish to pay their fair share of taxes to the Government that enabled them to make their money. But they do wish to spend it foolishly to make sure their party (friends and cohorts) get elected to the party that will further their cause. Steal more money! And, it's not just stealing from Americans, it's all of the "free" world. No wonder we are "Ugly Americans".

5:55AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

No Child Left behind was a bad idea from the beginning. It has not improved with time.

4:10AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Thanks for the article!

9:10PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Teaching to the test. Jeb Bush made a fortune on it.

8:46PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

I always thought it should have been fair trade agreements over free. You say free and you have to know there is always a cost for someone. Fair trade and the cost is spread out, as are the rewards.

8:33PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Ernest R., when they have beaten us down and we are working for under one dollar an hour with NO benefits the jobs will come back. Listen as even now some people are complaining about the wages of others. To many people believe the lies that high wages and benefits are the problem. This is what Globalaztion and LOL, LOL, Free Trade has gotten us, free for them but a very HIGH price for the working people of the world.

Soon enough we will be the next third world country and the A-holes here are so greedy they won't even put up the nets to stop us from jumping.

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Judy Molland An award-winning writer and teacher, Judy Molland is also an avid hiker, backpacker, and nature... more
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