If anyone thought that there was even an ounce of validity in the way this system evaluates schools, the July 27 article By new formula school grades dip should make it obvious that rethinking is in order.
The current system uses scores on standardized tests that compare the individual to the group as a major factor in determining school grades. Academic achievement has a high correlation to academic ability, so an individual’s relation to the group may improve somewhat over time, but only within a limited range. A much more valid way of measuring individual progress is a criterion-based test that will allow measurement of a student’s progress based on the individual student’s own base line. The muddle is compounded further at the high school level, where a number of other factors such as “graduation rate” are thrown in.
Floridians should realize that, if by simply changing the grading criteria, there are significantly fewer A schools and significantly more F schools, the opposite could also happen. In other words, the system is a sham. It makes hundreds of thousands of students and teachers in our state work tirelessly in pursuit of a fraudulent goal.
Joe Carbia, retired principal, M-DCPS, Miami