Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida issues ranking for every school in the state

First school districts. Now individual schools.

The state Department of Education quietly released more FCAT-based rankings Monday — this time of every elementary, middle and high school in the state.

Following last week's ranking of all 67 school districts, the latest numerical ratings drew the same kind of response: Cheers from the top. Groans from the bottom. And lots of criticism that they're way too simplistic.

"Schools just can't be rated like shampoos," said Andy Ford, president of the statewide teachers union.

The DOE said on its website that the rankings are part of ongoing efforts to give parents, teachers and taxpayers ways to better evaluate their schools.

"It is critical that our students have access to world-class schools," Gov. Rick Scott said in a press release. "Measuring each school's performance helps gauge our progress toward that goal."

The rankings for elementary and middle schools are based on FCAT scores. The rankings for high schools are based on FCAT scores, Advanced Placement scores, graduation rates and other indicators.

Like the district rankings, the school rankings appear to be heavily correlated with poverty. But because information about past performance or demographics is not included, it's not easy to pinpoint which schools are doing better or worse than their demographics might suggest.

In Pinellas, the principals of both top- and bottom-ranked schools had mixed feelings.

St. Petersburg Collegiate High School, a charter school, came in at No. 1 in the district and No. 8 in the state. Its students graduate with high school diplomas and two-year college degrees from St. Petersburg College.

"Are rankings important? Yes, because parents put value in rankings in choosing schools," said principal Starla Metz. "But I don't know that rankings can be entirely fair because I don't know that you can take into account every single factor."

Boca Ciega High ranked last in Pinellas, even though it made the biggest FCAT gains among district high schools last year. Principal Michael Vigue said the rankings are disappointing and potentially misleading, but also motivating.

"We'll keep grinding away," he said.

In Hillsborough, Bevis Elementary was tied for most points among all elementary schools in the state. Yet superintendent MaryEllen Elia went on record just a week ago blasting the measures the state employed to rank districts.

District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said the system was proud to have a top-rated school, but loathe to brag about it because the ranking method was so questionable.

In Pasco, Veterans Elementary in Wesley Chapel was the district's third-highest elementary school and 301st in the state. Principal Donna Busby said she wasn't aware the state planned to rank schools, and had no plans to use the measure to tout hers.

"My job is to focus on the students here and to make sure they're getting the best education possible," Busby said. "We use lots of different kinds of data to make instructional decisions for each individual student and what they need."

Ron Matus can be reached at matus@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8873.

.

Top and bottom scores

The top- and bottom-ranked schools, by grade level, in Tampa Bay area districts, along with their statewide rank. Visit app2.fldoe.org/Ranking/Schools:

Pinellas

Elementary: Curtis Fundamental (55), Maximo (1,782)

Middle: Clearwater Fundamental (54), Imagine Middle (566)

High: St. Petersburg Collegiate (8), Boca Ciega (358)

Hillsborough

Elementary: Bevis (1), Riverhills (1,775)

Middle: Terrace Community (7), Mount Pleasant Standard Base (582)

High: Newsome (19), Middleton (401)

Pasco

Elementary: Wesley Chapel (179), Gulf Highlands (1,789)

Middle: Pine View (58), Raymond B. Stewart (470)

High: Mitchell (72), Zephyrhills (320)

Hernando

Elementary: Chocachatti (587), Moton (1,541)

Middle: Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology (50), Fox Chapel (473)

High: Nature Coast Technical (192), Central (276)

Florida issues ranking for every school in the state 01/30/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 9:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays Kevin Cash: "We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence"

    Blogs

    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to turn it around,'' Cash said. "You can only delay it for so long and …

  2. Should kindergartners be encouraged to conform to peer pressure? One Pasco school suggests so

    Blogs

    A Pasco County elementary school came under fire on social media Thursday for its new behavior expectation charts that suggest conforming to peer pressure is positive, and that running in school is anarchy.

    Deer Park Elementary School has posted this chart of student expectations. Some parents have complained about its terms, such as the suggestion that conforming to peer pressure is positive.
  3. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  4. Opponents gather to decry requiring private money for removal of Confederate monument

    Local

    TAMPA — Amid a flurry of debate over monuments to the Confederacy, local leaders and activists once again took to the Old County Courthouse grounds Thursday to call for the removal of a statue on Hillsborough County property.

    Tampa For Justice member Kelly Benjamin, right, leads a news conference in front of the Confederate memorial while protester Gary Snow, left, uses a bullhorn to try and disrupt the event Thursday. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  5. Rays, Bucs and Lightning join Dungy in donating to move Confederate monument

    Bucs

    The Tampa Bay area's three major league sports teams have pledged their financial support in moving a Confederate monument out of downtown Tampa.

    Tony Dungy in 2011. [Getty]