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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida public school grades: high schools decline; other levels improve



Fcat Florida saw a dramatic increase in the number of public schools earning A's this year. But the improvement can't be credited to the state's high schools.

Over all grade levels, 1,822 schools earned an A, compared to 1,585 a year ago, FLDOE evaluation and reporting bureau chief Juan Copa told superintendents during a conference call this morning.

For high schools, though, the number of A's was a dismal 68 - down nearly 50 percent from last year. The number of high schools earning D's, meanwhile, went up to 116 (from 70 in 2007-08). And that's before the state's new grading system goes into effect.

Full district and school results went live on the FLDOE Web site at 10 a.m. For an overview of the Tampa area's high school grades, see this blog post.

Chancellor Frances Haithcock told superintendents that the results were expected.

"In the four areas that were tested, there were three that declined," she said. Only math results went up slightly. "So it was anticipated that these high school grades would not be as strong as they have been historically."

Haithcock noted that the state's curriculum standards are under revision and should quickly take effect at all levels. That should lead to better high school results soon, she said, adding that a huge effort in teacher training will be required.

Overall, the state's scores played out like this:

A - 1,822 (+237)
B - 495 (-47)
C - 420 (-145)
D - 173 (+18)
F - 44 (-1)

The state had a record number of schools - 2,043 - qualify for recognition funds by either improving a grade level or earning an A. And 23 percent of schools made adequate yearly progress even as the percentage of students needed to show proficiency in reading and math increased by 6 percentage points each. Last year, 24 percent of schools made AYP.

Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith praised the superintendents for their leadership in what he termed a good year, but added, "It can be better next year."

We'll bring you more information as we get it.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:26am]


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