Florida's 2016 school grades released
Earlier than expected, and without any warning, the Florida Department of Education released school grades for 2015-16 on Friday morning.
The results, using learning gains for the first time since the state changed tests, showed a mixed bag for schools.
Overall, according to the department, the number of F-rated schools was half that of a year ago, at 103. Also, 1,137 schools either maintained an A grade or improved their grade.
"It is clear that our focus on Florida's most struggling students is paying off, especially in our ‘D' and ‘F' schools, 58 percent of which increased their grade in 2016," Commissioner Pam Stewart said in a news release. "The great benefit of our state's accountability system is that it constantly shines a light on areas that need improvement."
Superintendents predicted the grades would be out soon with comments on Thursday, and expecting poor results based on a system they considered "complicated and confusing." A big concern is the way the learning gains are now calculated.
Locally, the news was positive in some areas, and bleak in others. Three Pasco County schools, including traditional low performers Lacoochee Elementary, improved their marks. Thirty-three, however, dropped, including a dramatic decline from A to D for Seven Springs Elementary.
The district had 2 F schools -- Hudson and Calusa elementary -- and seven A schools.
In Pinellas County, 3 of 5 struggling elementary schools highlighted in the Times' Failure Factory series improved: Maximo to C, Lakewood to D, and Fairmount Park to D. Campbell Park and Melrose still have F's.
Also according to the department:
- Hernando County had three A and seven B schools.
- Hillsborough County had 51 A and 43 B schools, with nine schools improving from D to C and six rising from F to C. Fourteen of 25 schools rated F last year improved.
- Pinellas had 34 A and 22 B schools, with five fewer F schools than a year ago.
Find the full results here. More details as we have time to review the materials.