The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is recommending changes to the state’s school grading formula it believes will make the system fairer, more stable and easier to understand for schools and parents.
With state schools making the full transition to Common Core language arts, literacy and math standards, the group says Florida should modernize the nation’s oldest school grading formula.
“Now’s the perfect time to improve the system based on what we’ve learned from the last decade of school grading,” said president Trey Csar.
Among their recommendations:
Measure student test score growth over multiple years — Right now the state measure one year of growth. Multiple years would reduce the amount the year-to-year swings that sometimes effect student test results and grades.
Broaden the score ranges for each letter grade — This would prevent small increases or decreases in school scores from resulting in a change of several letter grades.
Limit how often the formula is changed — One possibility is the formula can only be changed during scheduled review periods.
Distinguish between proficiency and growth on test scores — Low-income schools often have a below-average percentage of students who meet state goals on tests, but those students are making larger gains on test scores. Separating the components would give school leaders a better idea how to assign resources.
Broaden the formula — This could include adding components such as attendance, discipline or the percentage of highly effective teachers. Doing so would ensure the formula is an accurate measurement of priorities.
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