Gov. Scott attempts to ease concerns over school grades

School superintendents across the state of Florida are concerned that school grades that will be released later this year will be unfair and result in lower marks for schools and districts.  Some superintendents predict those lower marks will have a negative economic impact on the state. 

“We are deeply troubled about the statewide economic impact that will result when schools are unfairly given a D or F grade,” Seminole County Public Schools Superintendent Walt Griffin said in a written statement. 
At an education summit Wednesday in Orlando Florida Governor Rick Scott attempted to ease those economic concerns.   Scott told several dozen superintendents and college presidents he doesn’t think businesses will compare this year’s school grades to last year’s school grades.  "They're going to look at us compared to another state.  That's what they do now," Scott said. 

A study released last week pointed out problems with the Florida Standards Assessment.  Public school students took the standardized test for the first time last school year.  It is used, in part, to assign school grades and superintendents across the state expect to see those grades go down because of the exam.  

Griffin told FOX 35 he disagrees with the governor’s assessment of how people outside the state will interpret school grades. “Probably weekly I have families call me [and ask], ‘Where are the A schools? Where are the B schools?” Griffin said.  “The grades mean a lot to families and if they don't understand the intricate calculation related to that grade, they just assume the state has done it right," Griffin continued.

He predicts that more schools will earn D’s and F’s this year because the faulty Florida Standards Assessment is forcing a key component used to calculate school grades to be left out.  By raising concerns about how school grades will affect the economy the superintendents attempt to give the governor another reason why the Department of Education should not assign school grades this year.  Superintendents have been saying all along that those grades should not be given out after the first year of the FSA.