Superintendent Pons Critical of Grading, Scoring Changes

Standardized Test Scores
Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 18:03:08-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- The State Board of Education approved a new set of passing score for the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA). The board also changed how the state grades its schools.

For Leon County Schools superintendent Jackie Pons, the board's decisions add more confusion than clarity.

"We've changed this grading system so many times that the community has lost confidence in that, and I think it's real important we recognize that," Pons said.

Just like students receive letter grades on their report cards, schools are graded by that same system -- A, B, C, D and F. Pons says, given the confusion over grading the past year, he hopes no school gets an "F."

"When you give an 'F' to a school, it can be devastating to that school community," he said.

Pons says the district has been one of the highest performing in Florida, but even so, he says other schools and districts should be exempt from getting grades in the 2014-15 academic year.

Some students faced technical issues while taking the test online, and an independent review found the test didn't meet the normal rigor of similar exams.

"Everybody's aware of these problems, so why would we penalize a student on the basis of a testing environment that wasn't sound?" Pons said.

The department will issue final school grades for the 2014-15 academic year on February 9.