All Tampa Bay school districts drop to C grades
The hits keep on coming.
All four school districts in the Tampa Bay area have been downgraded to a C rating this year. Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando counties each earned Bs from the state last year.
The district grades shouldn't come as a big surprise. The state made a number of changes to its accountability system this year, causing a decline in FCAT scores and school grades. It made it tougher for students to pass the new, harder FCAT. And it included in the school grade calculation the overall performance of students with disabilities and students learning English. Before, it counted only their learning gains.
See this week's story about school grades here. (High school grades aren't out yet. District grades are based on FCAT scores, so the state still can compute them. High school grades include FCAT scores along with other measures, such as graduation rates, Advanced Placement participation and performance.)
School districts won't be penalized for their grades the way that individual schools are. But the rankings still sting - many communities use them to advertise their school systems and to attract new residents and businesses. Some of Florida's biggest school districts lost their coveted A rankings, including Palm Beach and Broward counties. Miami-Dade held onto its B.
Statewide, more than half of Florida's 67 school districts dropped a grade this year.
See a full list of school grades below.