Drop in Lee County school grades not surprising to some

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- The number of schools earning an A grade in Lee County this year has fallen to 15 schools, which is down from 32 schools in 2014-2015.

“Definitely need better education and teachers that are better equipped to handle… the more intense curriculum,” said Christina Skipper, a parent who says she’s not surprised to hear the school district scored an overall B rating from the state. “They just seem so not up to standards.”

Nearly half the schools in the county dropped a full letter grade, with more receiving a C this year than the previous year.

“It leaves room to grow and improve,” said Chelsea Laudick who says the district’s B grade could be worse.

Bob Schaeffer, public educational director for the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, says this year’s grades were tougher than ever and they don’t always reflect how your student’s school is really performing.

“Trying to summarize everything that the school does in a single letter, A to F, is a violation of every standard of the measurement profession,” Schaeffer said. “Tests aren’t that good and education is not that simplistic that you can condense it into one letter.”

For parents of students at schools with an F rating, Schaeffer said “parents would learn better by spending some time in the school. See what’s on the bulletin board, talking to their kids, looking at the work that the kids bring home to see whether they are really learning and being challenged.”

The Lee County School District was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, but in a public statement, the district says the state used a new, more rigorous grading system and they are not surprised by the drop in grades.

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