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Florida Department of Education ranks the state's schools

A week after having ranked school districts by their FCAT results, the Florida Department of Education has created a similar list for all the schools in the state.

Critics will have no problem pointing to the list and noting that schools in high-wealth areas, along with specialty magnets and charter schools, largely top the results, regardless of county. The rankings are basic, without any weight given to the demographics. The list makers respond by saying that the numbers are the numbers, and that this is simply another way of looking at FCAT outcomes.

The Florida Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, was among those unimpressed with the new rankings.

"Gov. Rick Scott and his Department of Education continue to misapply FCAT test scores," FEA president Andy Ford said in a release. "Any attempt to reduce learning to merely numbers is misguided. Schools just can't be rated like shampoos. Worst of all is using these scores not just to rate but to rank, so that the emphasis is on who's beating whom. "

The DOE, which issued the rankings without any fanfare, said on the site, "Since the 1998-1999 school year, Floridians have used school grades to help assess the quality of their local schools. The school rankings, based on the points used to determine school grades, are part of the Department of Education's ongoing effort to increase transparency by providing clear measures and metrics to help parents of school-age children, educators, and taxpayers in Florida evaluate their local schools."

"Floridians care about education and it is critical that our students have access to world-class schools that will give them a pathway to a successful career. Measuring each school's performance helps gauge our progress toward that goal," Gov. Rick Scott said in a news release.

Rated No. 1 for Florida in each school category are: West Melbourne Elementary School for Science (Brevard) and Bevis Elementary (Hillsborough), Archimedian Middle School Conservatory (Miami-Dade), Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College (Okaloosa), The Sanibel School (Lee) and Pine View School for the Gifted (Sarasota).

You can view the school lists by county, as well. Here they are for Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. Story here.

Posted by Jeff Solochek at 11:08:37 am on January 30, 2012