Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Sarasota County Schools earn an A from the state

Sarasota County Schools earn an A from the state

Three Northeast Florida school districts improved a letter grade from previous year in the latest scores released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education. It is particularly important in identifying low-performing schools that need additional assistance to help their students reach their full potential.

The percentage of schools that earned an "A" or a "B" statewide rose from 46 percent to 57 percent and the number of "F" schools dropped by more than half.

"Though we are proud of retaining an A grade, we know that we have more work ahead to maintain the excellence within Sarasota County", Superintendent Todd Bowden said in a release from Sarasota County Schools.

Nassau County went from a B to an A in the 2016-17 school year, and Baker and Columbia counties improved from Cs to Bs. Pinellas County also made great strides.

Of Duval's two F grades, only one, Ramona Boulevard Elementary, is a traditional school. School officials said the number of "A" schools also doubled compared to a year ago.

Miles Elementary in Hillsborough County also earned a "C" this year. Eleven schools received D's and five got F's. Last year, the district ranked 28th, according to a press release from the district.

"Santa Rosa District Schools continually strives for improvement", said Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick.

Despite a district's limited purview over charter schools, district grades are affected by charter school grades. These schools in recent years received millions in private donations and public funds, including up to $17,000 per teacher in annual incentives. It has become clear to our community that each school's progress can not be represented by a single assigned letter grade.

The Florida Department of Education calculates school grades annually based on up to 11 components, including student achievement and learning gains on statewide, standardized assessments and high school graduation rate.

Those schools that receive a failing grade on the report card are placed on a mandatory performance plan that is approved by the state. "I am excited to see our schools do so well". Additionally, 50 of Florida's school districts have no "F" graded schools in 2016-17.

Roughly a third of all Broward and Miami Dade district schools improved their letter grades, while about 21 percent of Palm Beach schools improved.

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