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Thursday July 24th 2014

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Malcolm Thomas isn’t going to like this article

Escambia Superintendent of Schools Malcolm Thomas has been telling community leaders that four Escambia County high schools scored well enough to be “A” schools….they aren’t but that doesn’t stop him from trying to call them that. He blames the new grading system that “penalized” his schools because all the students didn’t make adequate yearly progress.

It’s sort like when your teenager comes home and tells you that he/she would have made an A if they didn’t have take all the test….just the parts they wanted to take.

Well, the rest of the state likes the new scoring system. The Orlando Sentinel reports high school grades have jumped dramatically, producing a record number of A and B schools. Of the hundreds of high schools statewide that improved their grade under the state’s new formula, about half would have seen no change at all under the old system. Only 22 schools statewide fared worse with the new method than they would have with the old one.

Of those 22 high schools that fared worse, two – Pine Forest and Escambia – are in Escambia County. They dropped from C’s to D’s.

Will this stop Thomas from overstating his “successes”? No. He doesn’t think the News Journal, WEAR TV or the white community leaders that he is setting up for future campaign contributions will check out his outlandish claims. The truth is Escambia County had a dismal FCAT year in Thomas’ first full year as superintendent. He needs to take ownership and tell parents how he will fix it.

Here are the real Escambia County High School scores—without the Thomas spin:

ESCAMBIA HIGH SCHOOL 2010:D 2009: C
PENSACOLA HIGH SCHOOL 2010:B 2009: B
J. M. TATE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL 2010:B 2009: B
PINE FOREST HIGH SCHOOL 2010:D 2009: C
WASHINGTON SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL 2010: B 2009:C
NORTHVIEW HIGH SCHOOL 2010:B 2009:D
WEST FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL/TECHNICAL 2010:A 2009:A

Read High schools overwhelmingly benefit from new scoring system.