A principal writes about the sharp drop in school grades, caused by a change (again) in the grading system by the state:
“As a principal of a school in Florida who ‘fell’ from a B to a C, despite all the news press of the lack of reliability in the change in grades, our parents will still think our school is ‘getting worse’. In reality, our scores are the same or better than last year. Trying to explain this to parents and ensure their confidence in our school and teachers isn’t shaken is a difficult task.
“Jeb! and his cronies have done an outstanding job of convincing Florida parents that Florida’s public schools are bad and constantly getting worse, even while he tours the country bragging about how he improved the schools in Florida. The damage that has been done by another change in the formula resulting in lower grades will impact educators and students both. Imagine how children feel when they learn their school did worse? These test scores belong to children, children who are being told loud and clear that they are failures as well as their school. I would love for Jeb! to explain his grading formula to a third grade child who now has to repeat third grade because Jeb! and his foundation decided it was time to ‘raise the standards’ once again. How can the FCAT be called a criterion based test when the criteria constantly change for no other reason than we have too many A schools? Can’t have folks believing public schools might actually be doing a good job, you know.
“Frankly, I am very grateful I am close to retirement because the sadness I feel about our Florida public school system is becoming too great to bear. Of course retiring will help me, but who is going to help the children of Florida?”