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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida school grades arrive today



Florida education commissioner Gerard Robinson warned parents last week that when school grades arrive, "you may notice that some schools have lower grades than last year." The state, after all, changed its scoring, standards and tests, all of which play a role in how the grades are calculated.

The results are starting to emerge.

Statewide, there were 1,124 A schools, 667 B schools, 510 C schools, 238 D schools and 47 F schools. A year ago, the numbers were 1,481 A's, 458 B's, 460 C's, 117 D's and 31 F's. Looking at it another way, that's a 24 percent decrease in A schools, and a doubling of D schools, with nearly a 50 percent increase in B schools.

"I am particularly pleased that it is the first time that we have included students who are just learning English and students with disabilities in the school grade performance component," Robinson said in a news release. "It is important that we measure our schools by the performance of all students, since that is the most accurate and fair way to represent our diverse state."

In Pinellas, the number of F schools tripled this year, with four district schools and two charters earning that mark. There were about twice as many D schools, with 17 compared to eight last year. The number of A's, B's and C's all dropped. Overall, there were 39 A's, 24 B's, 15 C's, 17 D's and six F's. Last year, there were about 50 A's, 13 B's, 25 C's, eight D's and two F's. A couple schools received grades this year that didn't last year.

In Hillsborough, 57 schools maintained their A grades. Riverhills Elementary improved its F to a D. Lomax Elementary raised its C to an A. On the other side of the coin, Sligh Middle School dropped from a D to an F, becoming the district's only traditional school with a failing mark. Two charter schools also received F's.

In Pasco, no schools earned an F this year. Gulf Highlands Elementary, the district's sole F school a year ago, improved to a C. Perennially struggling Cox Elementary, which houses the district's poorest population, saw its grade rise from C to B. Overall, Pasco schools received 22 A’s, 17 B’s, 21 C’s and six D’s. A year ago, the district had 34 A’s, 10 B’s, 18 C’s, three D’s and one F. Pasco story here.

The state Department of Education has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. to talk about the grades. Traditionally, the department posts the results online at about the same time as its conference call. Stay tuned for more.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:42am]


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