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Florida State Board of Education Releases State and District Grades

Author: Michelle Boehm, Research and Evaluation Analyst

Amid great debate, the Florida Department of Education recently announced preliminary school and district grades for the 2014-2015 school year. Although grades are typically released in the summer, the most recent round  was delayed while a legislature-mandated validity study of the newly implemented Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) was conducted. While these grades represent a baseline and cannot be directly compared to 2014 FCAT results, they provide insight into relative school and district performance and will be utilized to measure learning gains in the current and subsequent years.

School and district grades are influenced by student performance on the FSA and are calculated using seven components, including the following:

Achievement: The percentage of students achieving a passing score on the following:

  • English Language Arts (Florida Standards Assessments; Florida Alternate Assessments)
  • Math (Florida Standards Assessments; End-of-Course Assessments; Florida Alternate Assessments)
  • Science (Next Generation Science Standards; End-of-Course Assessments; Florida Alternate Assessments)
  • Social Studies (End-of-Course Assessments)

Middle School Acceleration: The percentage of students who passed a high-school level End-of-Course Assessment or industry certification.

Graduation Rate: The percentage of students in an adjusted cohort of 9th graders who graduated within 4 years.

College and Career Acceleration: The percentage of high school graduates who earned a score on an acceleration examination or a grade in a dual enrollment course that qualified students for college credit or earned an industry certification.

Grades are computed by adding points earned on each component and dividing by the total number of available points. In order to receive an A, at least 62% of points must be earned. The distribution of district grades can be seen below:

I = Incomplete

The Hillsborough County Public Schools district received a grade of “A”, while Miami-Dade and Orange County fell slightly below the “A” threshold with a grade of “B”.  The three school districts ranked 20th (Hillsborough), 25th (Dade) and 27th (Orange) out of a total of 67 districts.

Additionally, over one-third of the 898 schools within these three urban districts received a grade of “A”. The distribution of school grades within the three districts is displayed below:

I = Incomplete

At the time same, scores on the individual components comprising school and district grades (displayed in the table below) highlight the continued work needed in ensuring student success.

According to Stacy Carlson, Vice President and Program Director of College and Career Readiness at Helios Education Foundation, “The recent release of preliminary school and district grades provides important data to help us understand how our schools and districts are performing.  These data are critical as we continue to develop strategies to ensure Florida students are prepared for success in college and career.”

FSA testing for the 2015-2016 recently began on February 29.  To obtain additional details and scores for the 2014-2015 school and district performance, please visit the Florida Department of Education website.

Category: Education Excellence

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