Jasper County School District's appeal of 'F' grade unsuccessful

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comOctober 16, 2013 

The Jasper County School District's appeal of its lowest-in-the-state score on federal accountability standards was unsuccessful, the state Department of Education announced Tuesday.

The state announced that it was upholding the district's second consecutive "F" grade.

In an Aug. 28 letter, the district asked the state to review and recalculate the grade it received on standards that are part of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

In the letter, the school district says the Department of Education did not take into account the consolidation of two middle schools and two high schools between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.

It also failed to account for students who left the district for a new state charter school in 2012-13. Those students' scores should have been removed from the 2011-12 data for the comparison to be fair, the letter states.

According to a Tuesday release from the state, the agency reviewed the justifications submitted by each district in its appeal and redid the calculations using the formula approved by the U.S. Department of Education. After recalculating, the state concluded that the original grades released Aug. 1 are accurate.

Eleven school districts appealed their 2013 grades. One of the appeals, by Anderson School District 5, was affirmed because of a mistakenly issued grade, the release said.

However, the other 10 appeals were unsuccessful and the grades upheld. Those districts are: Anderson 1, Cherokee, Dorchester 2, Florence 3, Greenville, Jasper, Lexington 1, Marion 10, Orangeburg 3 and Sumter.

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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