MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Two weeks after elementary and middle schools across the state received their report cards, some of them failing, the Florida Department of Education admits they miscalculated some of the schools’ grades.
Now, dozens of schools across the state are getting a higher grade.
Verona McCarthy, Principal at Ruben Dario Middle Community School, says she got the news Friday that her school had been downgraded from an “A” school to a “B” school.
“I felt like I had been thrown off of a bridge,” McCarthy said.
The same thing happened to Yaset Fernandez, the principal at Jose De Diego Middle School.
“Students came in on Saturdays, came in during spring break, came in during, before and after school for tutoring to receive extra help,” said Fernandez. “So it was heartbreaking news to hear that we were a ‘D’ school.”
But the lowered scores were through no fault of their own. The Florida Department of Education made a technical error in the FCAT grading calculations after not assigning additional points to students who deserved them.
“Simply put if they somehow demonstrated learning gains, growth that exceeded that of one full year of instruction they should get an extra credit, an extra point,” said Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho.
The miscalculations resulted in lower FCAT scores. When the Department of Education realized the mistake, they corrected it, and a total of 213 schools across the state were given higher grades.
In Miami-Dade, there were 31 schools that received higher grades. Thirteen were upgraded from a “B” to an “A,” nine from a “C” to a “B,” seven from a “D” to a “C,” and two from “F” to “D.”
In Broward, there were 17 schools impacted. Eleven went from a “B” to an “A,” two went from a “C” to a “B,” three from a “D” to a “C,” and one went from being an “F” school to a “D” school!
“While we accept accountability as an important tool in informing instruction, we absolutely reject flawed accountability,” said Carvalho.
In Miami-Dade, the state Department of Education revised the rating for 31 schools.
- Schools that improved from B to A: Ruben Dario Middle, Sylvania Heights Elementary, Seminole Elementary, Peskoe K-8, Olinda Elementary, Miami Springs Elementary, Melrose Elementary, West Hialeah Gardens Elementary, Howard Drive Elementary, Chapman Elementary, Downtown Miami Charter, Keysgate Charter High and International Studies Charter Middle
- Schools that improved from C to B: Richmond Heights Middle, Country Club Middle, Nautilus Middle, Lake Stevens Middle, W. Homestead Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Benjamin Franklin K-8, Campbell Drive K-8, and Aspira Charter
- Schools that improved from D to C: North Dade Middle, Horace Mann Middle, Jose de Diego Middle, Cutler Ridge Middle, Hibiscus Elementary, Florida City Elementary, Citrus Grove Elementary
- Schools that improved from F to D: Allapattah Middle and Florida International Academy.
The grades for Florida high schools are expected to be released in the coming weeks.