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Proud to be Average

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Maybe our school system's obsession with test scores has gotten out of hand, or maybe our standards have simply dropped. The Miami charter middle school Florida International Academy has posted “Proud to be a B school” in the front of their small building on Biscayne Blvd.

Sure the Academy has some reason to be happy with their “B” status. In 2001 the school got an “F” for their results on the FCAT. The next two years they received “D's” and the following two years “C's.” So they have made progress, but does rising from a failing “F” to an acceptable “B” really warrant pride? Is that the message our schools should be sending to children?

Out of 69 middle schools in Miami-Dade, 18 scored “A's” and 15 had “B's.” So Florida International Academy's only achievement is making it into the top 50 percent of all county middle schools, hardly a status worth flaunting. Even with the Academy's focus on raising test scores to meet adequate yearly progress for No Child Left Behind, only 39 percent of their students achieved a high standard of reading and only 22 percent reached that level in science. Maybe the sign should read: “Proud to no longer be a complete failure.” -- Tovin Lapan

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