State releases school grades
TAVARES – School grades determined by the state using the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) have been released. They show three Lake Conty schools -- Round Lake Elementary, Villages Elementary and Imagine South Lake Charter -- were graded an "A" in 2016. Thirteen schools were graded a "B," no schools were graded "F," and the district was graded "C."
The new school grades reflect learning gains made by students. Those learning gains could not be captured from the 2014-15 FSA, as there were no previous similar tests to use for comparison. It was noted in the release of the first year of FSA-determined school grades that the grades were only partial, so any comparison to grades released next week would not be valid.
The Coalition says it is important for parents and students to know that learning gains are now more difficult to attain because of a change in how the gains are calculated. For this reason, school districts across Central Florida expected the new school grades to be lower than the partial grades that were released last year.
High schools will further be impacted because the 2015-16 grades will not account for current students who successfully completed Algebra 1 in middle school. Also, the 2015-16 high school grades are calculated using data from 2014-15 in areas such as graduation rates, and the number of students who take advanced coursework. These factors will not accurately depict the high schools’ measure of success.
“I know our students and teachers have worked extremely hard and done well,’’ Moxley said. “I am proud of the great work happening in our classrooms every day. Test results and school grades do not tell the whole story.”
A statement released by the Coalition says, “Superintendents stand firmly behind the hard work of their students, teachers and administrators. Potentially lower grades will misrepresent what happens in our classrooms and in our school districts every day during the school year.”
The Coalition will “continue to advocate for a more accurate and improved accountability system where schools are not simply labeled with a single letter grade."