Walton County parents are reacting tonight to the school district's grade change from an "A" to a "B" status. District grades are determined through student performance on the FCAT standardized test.
The test underwent changes itself this year, which has affected the way individual schools and districts are graded.
This news prompted the school district and the state Board of Education to act, releasing a double sided letter to the parents of more than 7500 students in Walton County.
It's a move the district hopes will clear up some confusion on student performance.
Across Walton County, parents are reading this letter. On one side is a message from the state board of education. The other side is from the district.
It's referring to the more rigorous FCAT 2.0, which Florida students took for the first time this year. That harder content has resulted in lower performance grades state wide.
For parent, Bobi Jo McDonald, the new system seems unfair to students like her daughter, who has a learning disability.
"This isn't giving them a chance. Just bouncing them from what they're studying to something higher in grade level. That's not giving them a chance," said McDonald.
It seems what parents are most concerned about under this new F-CAT 2.0 is the much harder grading system. What used to be an A under the old FCAT is now a B under the new system. This applies to school grades and district grades.
Now, Walton County, under the new system, is currently at a "B", but in order to get that "A" status back that it's had for several years, the District says they have to work even harder.
"FCAT was a mountain that we climbed and making an A for several years, we sat very high upon that mountain. We conquered it, so to speak. Now we have a different mountain called FCAT 2.0," said Superintendent Carlene Anderson.
Anderson penned her own response to the state letter, saying she's pleased with their efforts this year.
"To be on that mountain doesn't mean we fell from an A, it just means we haven't been an A on that mountain. We have risen to a B our first year, our first attempt," said Anderson.
But, she said she isn't satisfied until they can retain that "A" status, once again, and she asks for parent's patience.
"They need to trust that we are looking at the data and we are using it as our road map to where we need to do better," said Anderson.
Anderson added that they are always looking for ways to improve for this next school year which starts august 8th.