Critics will have no problem pointing to the list and noting that schools in high-wealth areas, along with specialty magnets and charter schools, top the results, regardless of the county they come from. The rankings are basic, without any attention paid 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 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), Archimedian Middle School Conservatory (Miami-Dade), Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College (Okaloosa) and The Sanibel School (Lee).