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JPEF: Florida's school grading system needs overhaul

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Updated: 1/15 9:26 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's school grading system has changed 16 times over the last 20 years. The Jacksonville Public Education Fund wants to change it again, but this time, make a sweeping overhaul.

It's the letter grade that impacts millions of families. Each year, Florida schools are graded based on growth and performance. And even if a student is performing well, their school grade could tell a very different story.

"Our grading system is the oldest in the country. It was started in 1999 and it's really showing the signs of its age," said JPEF's Trey Csar.

Csar said instead of tiny tweaks each year, Florida's grading system needs a massive overhaul. And he's proposing solutions to the legislature.

"Should there be a separate proficiency grade and a separate growth grade, because right now those two pieces are put together and that causes some of the confusion," he said.

Shanuinka Chapman graduated from Andrew Jackson High School a few years ago and said in her time there, the school grade fluctuated.

Csar said that's one of the big issues the state needs to fix. He said it's too easy for a school to fall from an A all the way down to a D in a year's time.

"You can have a teacher or a school who's moving kids a year and a half to two years worth of academic growth in a single calendar year and that school is doing an amazing job and right now, the school grading system doesn't recognize that as much as it should," said Csar.

The Jacksonville Public Education fund also thinks there needs to be limitations on how often the state can make tweaks to the grading system, there are more accurate comparisons from year to year.

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