Charter schools that plan to appeal their school grade must alert their district authorizer immediately. There is a 30-day appeals process for the 2015-16 preliminary school grades: July 12, 2016 – August 11, 2016.
State Board of Education Rule 6A-1.09981, Florida Administrative Code, provides for a 30-day period for districts to review the preliminary school grade assigned to each school. This memorandum provides information on the appeals process for the 2015-16 preliminary school grades. The 30-day appeals process begins today, July 12, 2016, and ends on Thursday, August 11, 2016.
The calculations for school grades rely on the accuracy of data that districts submit to the Florida Department of Education. During the regular student survey periods, the student data submitted to the department are certified as correct by the district superintendent. After the certification, districts are given several months to amend any district-reported student survey data. Prior to the release of the preliminary school grades, districts also have had several opportunities to ensure that data used for accountability purposes are accurate. For the 2016 accountability process, these opportunities included the following:
- The department provided each district all assessment records that did not match to a student. Districts had from May 18 to June 24 to update and correct the data for the 2014-15 summer assessments and the 2015-16 fall and winter assessments, and two weeks during June to update and correct the data for the 2015-16 spring assessments.
- The department provided each district a school type report for school grade calculations. The department also provided districts with a listing of alternative and exceptional student education (ESE) center schools. Districts were given an opportunity to review and revise school type assignments and the alternative and ESE school listings.
- During the fall of 2015, the department provided five weeks for districts to update and correct data for the 2014-15 graduation rate cohort.Because of the many opportunities for districts to review, update and correct all the data used for the school grades, the following district-reported data should not be appealed and cannot form the basis of a successful appeal:
o Incorrect student identification numbers, district numbers or school numbers for any student or assessment record
o Changes in student demographic information: race, gender, ELL status, exceptionality, lunch status or grade level
As you know, the new school grades model allows schools to be graded based on the components for which the school has sufficient data. This means that a school could receive a grade based on 1 or more components. If a school is graded on 1 or 2 components and you believe that the grade of a school does not represent the progress of the school’s student body, you may appeal the grade of the school. In order to appeal the district must provide documentation that identifies why the grade does not represent the progress of the school’s student body.
The process for submitting appeal requests is as follows:
Only requests for a recalculation that would (or could) result in a change to a preliminary school grade should be submitted. If the district determines that a different preliminary school grade should be assigned because of the department’s omission of student data, a data miscalculation, testing irregularities or special circumstances that might have affected the preliminary grade assigned, an appeal request for a departmental review of the data can be submitted. An optional checklist (attachment 2) has been attached to aid districts with compiling appeals; districts are not required to complete this checklist when submitting an appeal.
1. On or before August 11, 2016, district superintendents shall submit a written request for review, including all supporting documentation. Appeals need to be submitted via upload to the district’s ShareFile folder (Dist_XX).
Each request must be submitted by the district accountability coordinator and must be signed by the superintendent; individual schools may not submit appeals. All schools must work through the district accountability coordinator. A separate letter of explanation and separate documentation must be submitted for each school.
- The request for review must be signed by the district superintendent and in the form of a letter explaining the reasons for the appeal, specific information on the situation(s) being appealed and descriptions of the circumstances that caused the need for the appeal. The supporting documentation must identify the individual student records in question (see Attachment 1). The department will not review an appeal alleging omission or miscalculation of data that does not include supporting documentation or data to identify the individual student records in question.
- The documentation should accompany the appeal letter and be labeled, highlighted or marked for the individual school being appealed. Please note: e-mail is not a secure medium for transmitting individually identifiable student data and must not be used for that purpose.
- A data file with all of the relevant appeal information must be uploaded to the ShareFile site (see Attachment 1). If there are questions about how to transmit the required documentation, please contact the Bureau of Accountability Reporting at 850-245-0411 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your cooperation and help to ensure that all preliminary school grades are accurate.
cc: District Accountability Coordinators