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Five districts appeal state's school scores

By Bob Mercer

Capitol Corresondent

PIERRE -- Officials from five school districts filed appeals of the annual performance scores that some of their schools received this summer from the state Department of Education.

The appeals came from Tea, Corsica, Dakota Valley, Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

"The majority have to do with summer graduates," said Mary Stadick Smith, a spokeswoman for the department.

She declined to provide further specifics because state and federal regulations prohibit releasing some information when student groups are too small in number.

The scores are calculated before summer class work concludes and graduation discrepancies weren't a surprise.

"That happens every year, so there's nothing unusual in that," she said.

The appeals period closed at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The scores this summer are the first using the department's new performance-index system as a replacement for the No Child Left Behind approach of the past decade.

Last summer, there were eight appeals. There were 23 appeals in each of the two prior years.