State Board of Education Approves School Grade Recommendations - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

State Board of Education Approves School Grade Recommendations

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Florida's State Board of Education narrowly passed a plan to shield schools from dropping more than one letter grade. Some school's grades are expected to drop significantly because of more than a dozen changes in the school accountability system.

Bay District School officials breathed a sigh of relief because some Bay county schools could have dropped a few letter grades

"We are very appreciative because we know that we are going to have some schools in that boat, and those principals have been very, very concerned," said Gena Burgans, Director for Instruction for Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Those principals don't necessarily have to worry, at least not this year. The state board with a four to three vote approved Education Commissioner Tony Bennett's provision to prevent school grade drops of more than one letter grade. For example, a school that was an 'A' last year could only drop to a 'B' this year.

Commissioner Bennett made the recommendation after hearing from concerned superintendents across the state.

While Bay District School officials are appreciative, they hope the state won't need a provision next year.

"We just hope that that's not the end. We hope that the band aid approach goes on while they're addressing what it is that might be addressed within the system because obviously if that's what taken away next year, we'll be sitting right where we were this year bracing for the worst to come," said Burgans.

According to a DOE press release, the board also approved a recommendation that scores of students' attending ESE schools, such as Margaret K. Lewis and New Horizons Learning Center, not be applied to the school they're zoned for.

School grades are expected to be released by the end of the month.