Florida schools see big gains in letter grades this year

Image Courtesy Josh Davis

- The Florida Department of Education released on Wednesday all elementary, middle and high school grades for the state. Dade reported a similar percentage, while Palm Beach County schools improved letter grades at about 27 percent of their poorest schools.

Miles Elementary in Hillsborough County also earned a "C" this year.

Broward County public schools also did well this past school year, as 30 percent of schools received an "A" grade, up from 23 percent the previous year.

79 percent of schools that earned an "F" in 2015-16 improved by at least one letter grade in 2016-17. "We don't have any Ds or Fs [in the district]".

About 30 percent of schools in Broward received "A" ratings, up from 23 percent past year; 20 percent received "B" ratings and about 41 percent earned "C's".

The number of schools receiving an A doubled to six from past year.

Duval also has fewer D-rated schools, 16, down from from 35 past year.

Ribault Middle School missed the same fate with a passing "C" grade. "I am excited to see our schools do so well". "[The state] started factoring the learning gains a year ago, and that was a sucker punch to just about everybody". If district schools don't reach a C grade in time, they could be closed, turned into charter schools or managed by an outside entity.

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"Our district continues to demonstrate improvement in the third year of the Florida State Assessment Program", said Patricia Willis, interim superintendent of Duval schools.

"We're clear from that list now", Dodd said. Florida doesn't usually issue letter grades to alternative schools, so the district is appealing.

Osceola County schools jumped to a B, Seminole jumped to an A and Orange County schools remained the same at a B.

The statewide rating of its schools and districts, which has drawn criticism from some educators, is based on five main components, including high school graduation rates, state test scores and college-readiness.

Many district schools still struggle to bring up reading performance to grade-level proficiency, according to recently released test scores.

"Santa Rosa District Schools continually strives for improvement", said Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick. The Clay district also received a B for 2016-17.

More than 40% of the Martin County schools received an A and just as many received a B and just three schools were rated C, in 2017.

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