Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s School Grading System “Divorced From Reality”


Good high schools. Great faculty. Underperforming students. • That’s the condensed version of recent education reports out of Tallahassee spawned by an accountability system gone awry. Apparently schools and teachers are doing great, it’s just the students who aren’t making the grade.

Gov. Rick Scott and local educators boasted last week that Florida high schools are doing above-average work. Some 240 high schools, or about 48 percent of Florida high schools, earned A’s. And earlier this month, state reports showed a minuscule number of teachers with “unsatisfactory” job performance.

Yet Florida’s graduation rate is below the national average, according to the U.S. Education Department…

…No matter what Tallahassee says, that’s not good enough. It is time to overhaul Florida’s school grading system, which has been so tweaked and massaged as to be divorced from reality. A system giving grades that parents, educators and students can’t trust is an exercise without a purpose

Thanks to Jeff Solochek for the link.

I would imagine that the Times editorial board would agree the same can be said of the state’s entire accountability system – high stakes tests, teacher evaluations – all of it. Public education advocates in states all over the country are witnessing a pause in policy implementation. SB 736’s merit pay mandate is to begin next year and policymakers are considering “tweaking” and “massaging” it, too.

A lot of those same republican lawmakers in Tallahassee who want to do all that tweaking and massaging are all lathered up about repealing Obamacare. How about repealing some of this crap?


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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