2016 School Grades Released; Volusia Officials Concerned With Formula

By on July 8, 2016 in WNDB News


Florida School Grades

Volusia County, FL – The Florida Department of Education has released the 2016 school grades, but Volusia County officials are concerned with how those grades are calculated.

Volusia County’s Superintendent is encouraging residents to consider 2015-2016 the baseline year. “The formula used to determine learning gains has changed dramatically this year, making learning gains more difficult to attain. This may negatively impact our district with drops in school grades,” said Superintendent Tom Russell. “I am particularly concerned with the calculation of learning gains for level 1 and level 2 students and am beyond frustrated for our students, teachers, and school communities.”

School grade calculations are determined by the state using the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), and the new grades reflect learning gains which couldn’t be captured in the 2014-2015 school year because there were no similar tests to use for comparison at that time. The first year of FSA-determined school grades were only partial, so, according to Volusia County Schools, any comparisons to these newly released grades aren’t valid.

The 2015-2016 grades don’t account for current students who successfully finished Algebra 1 in middle school, and 2015-2016 grades are calculated using data from 2014-2015 in areas like graduation rates, and the number of students who took advanced classes.

Four Volusia County schools improved a whole letter grade: Indian River Elementary, Longstreet Elementary, and McInnis Elementary all went from a C to a B, and Holly Hill School went from a D to a C. Starke Elementary improved 2 letter grades, going from an F to a C. No schools in Volusia County received an F this past year.

“We are pleased Volusia maintained a B district grade and are very proud of our students, teachers, and administrators who worked extremely hard,” said Russell. “It is important to note that our school grades were severely impacted as a direct result of the new formula used to calculate learning gains. This was expected but misrepresents the learning that is taking place in schools where grades slipped.

Including charter schools, Volusia’s grades are:

  • A – 7 schools (10% of schools in the county)
  • B – 22 schools (32% of schools in the county)
  • C – 33 schools (49% of schools in the county)
  • D – 6 schools (9% of schools in the county)
  • F – 0 schools (0% of schools in the county)

2015-2016 Preliminary District Grades:

volusia school grades 1

(Table courtesy the Florida Department of Education, fldoe.org)

preliminary district grades 2016

(Map courtesy the FL Department of Education, found in the FL School Grades Packet)

The district and schools will complete a comprehensive review of the data to develop successful instructional practices.

To see the FL School Grades packet, click here.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.


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