Florida high schools to be graded differently - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Florida high schools to be graded differently

By Al Pefley - bio | email

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Schools in Florida get a letter grade, A, B, C and so on.

Now, the state is changing the way each high school is assigned a letter grade. Right now, high schools in Florida get a letter grade each year from the state department of education based on how their students did on the FCAT.

That is going to change, and it's considered the biggest change in Florida's school grading system since it started more than a decade ago.

Under the plan that's just been approved by the state board of education, FCAT will only account for 50 percent of a high school's letter grade with the rest coming from its student graduation rates, student participation in advanced placement courses, and student success on college-readiness exams such as ACT and SAT.

The bottom line is that Florida's high schools will be graded on more than just the FCAT, and parents we talked with applaud this change. "I think the plan is good. I think schools need to be judged based on their graduation rate and the amount of students passing their AP classes," said Stephanie Ditommaso, parent of a student at Inlet Grove High in Riviera Beach.  

"I don't know. I think there's too much emphasis on the FCAT and not enough on the other stuff, you know?" said Melodie Bozeman, grandparent of a student at Inlet Grove High.  

"I'm all for it. I believe FCAT is an important indicator. But things like graduation rates are also very important," said Todd Breen, another Inlet Grove High parent. 

Some of the parents said they don't feel the FCAT is an accurate measurement of how a high school is really doing, because some kids simply aren't very good at taking tests and don't do well under that kind of pressure.

This change will only affect high schools. Elementary and middle schools will continue to be graded only on FCAT results.

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