Fla. releases grades for more than 3,200 schools

Posted at 12:38 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 21:15:07-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida is finally releasing school grades based on tests given nearly a year ago.

The Florida Department of Education on Friday issued grades for schools that are linked to the state's new high-stakes test. The Florida Standards Assessment is based primarily on Common Core standards.

The preliminary grades given out for 3,219 schools show that 1,169 schools received A grades and 642 were given a B. A total of 184 schools earned an F grade while 365 schools were given a D. Some 859 schools got a C grade.

School grades were delayed because the state had to come up with passing scores for the new test. School superintendents wanted to pause school grades for this year based on the troubled rollout of the new test last spring.

Martin County said the school district earned an “A” grade and is tied for the third highest scoring school district in the state.

“I am extremely proud of the tremendous accomplishments we have achieved over the past school year.  Our teachers, staff and students are working diligently at every school,” Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord said in a news release.  “In prior years, school grades were based on a complex calculation of student performance, proficiency and many other factors.  The current system reflects only proficiency,” she said.

The Palm Beach County School District also received an A grade and said it is the highest performing large district in Florida.

In a news release the district mentioned "concerns about the process that was used by the state in determining these grades."

“It’s hard to give an accurate school grade without taking into account student progress,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa said in a news release. “The goal of the School District is to have every student be on grade level or above and learning gains are critical in capturing this achievement.”

St. Lucie County says the district grade awarded to it increased from a C to a B this year.

“While we celebrate the increases, one must be reminded that these results are based upon a flawed and incomplete state accountability system.  We will continue to focus on what is important – quality instruction for each child every day. As a District, we have been proactively analyzing multiple data points in order to gather clear and accurate measures of our students’ progress.  Our leadership and instructional teams meet regularly to review and discuss data, create action plans, and implement these plans to support our students and teachers,” Superintendent E. Wayne Gent said in a news release.  

The Indian River County School District received an A for the 2014-15 school year.

“This is a incredible achievement by our students and staff that reflects the great work done last year. The fact that we were able to earn enough points to earn an “A” grade with higher standards and a new test is outstanding,” said IRC Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell in a statement.

For a complete breakdown of the 2015 Florida School grades, including information on how your student's school performed, visit the Florida Department of Education School Accountability Reports.