The results for the Algebra I end-of-course exam, which must be passed in order for a high school student to earn a diploma, showed that more than three-quarters of the 26 eighth graders at the Apalachicola Bay Charter School passed it.
In contrast, only 39 percent of the 76 students at Franklin County High School, in grades ranging from eighth through 12th, had passed it. This meant that several of these students would have to attend an Algebra 1 boot camp at the school during the months of June and July, in an effort to help them pass the state-mandated Algebra 1 assessment requirement.
So far, 27 students in grades 9-12, have met their requirement this summer through the PERT assessment, one of several alternative tests given to meet the requirement.
A problem surfaced, however, because the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) this year adopted a rule which no longer permits the use of the PERT exam for students who are enrolled in ninth grade for the 2018-19 school year.
“There was a misinterpretation of the rule by the district, believing that this new rule would not take effect until July 30, 2018,” wrote the district, in a news release last week.
On July 9 and10, the PERT was offered to some of the eighth-grade students attending the boot camp and five of them passed the assessment.
“Upon further investigation and confirmation from FLDOE, the district determined that the new rule was in effect and the 8th-grade students who were tested and passed the PERT will still need to meet the Algebra 1 assessment requirements,” read the release. “All students that passed the PERT and are affected by this new law were notified of the error and have been offered additional instructional support.”
The school district extended the Algebra 1 camp an additional four days to include July 16 to 19 with the Florida Standards Assessment Algebra end-of-course exam to be given on July 18-19.
In remarks to the school board Monday night, FCHS Principal Jill Rudd noted that she had learned that a local cheer camp, held this summer at the school, included some students who should have attended the boot camp which ran some of the same days.
“That sets the wrong precedent,” she said. “Now it’s on us to find the time to instruct them” in order to pass the required test.
The state data shows that at the ABC School, the 77 percent of the 26 eight graders who took Algebra was 14 percentage points better than the state average. Of these, 13 scored a 3, three scored a 4, and four scored a 5.
Three students scored a 1 and three students scored a 2, each score considered below proficiency in the subject.
At Franklin County, the 39 percent proficiency showing was 24 percentage points below state average. There were no 5s, and eight students scored 4s, and 22 scored a 3.
Ten students scored a 2, and 35 students scored a 1.