School grades reveal improvement at Fishweir, Spring Park

The Florida Department of Education has released the 2012 school grades for Duval County Public Schools. Despite the anticipated decrease in school grades, Duval County Public Schools was the only school district in the state to increase the number of “A” schools and decrease the number of “F” schools.

“A decrease in school grades was expected because of the increased rigor,” said Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals. “While we have seen some reductions, they are not as drastic as we anticipated. I commend our teachers and principals for their hard work in preparing our students for the most rigorous expectations in the country.”

Neighborhood schools Fishweir Elementary and Spring Park led the charge. Fishweir’s letter grade jumped from a C to a coveted A status. Spring Park’s grade also improved from a C to an A.

The higher standards were implemented to better prepare students for college and the workforce. Florida Department of Education officials have been moving to higher academic standards, new assessments that measure students’ progress toward meeting the standards, and higher achievement levels for reading and math. The higher standards, assessments and achievement levels were used to determine school grades this year. Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson addressed a letter to parents and guardians earlier this month explaining the anticipated drop in students and schools’ grades.

This year in Duval County, 115 schools out of the 142 schools earned excellent, good or satisfactory grades, while four schools received a “D” or “F. ” All of our 21 high schools are still awaiting their grades, which incorporate access to and performance in accelerated coursework, college readiness and graduation rates. High school scores are scheduled to be released in December.

School grades are based on the following items:

·         Student proficiency in FCAT Reading, Math, Science and Writing, including students with disabilities and English language learners;

•                The percentage of students making one year gains in reading and math; and

•                The percentage of the lowest performing students making one year gains in reading and math

Additional criteria for high schools includes:

•                The percentage of students who participate in college level courses (AP, IB, AICE and Dual Enrollment);

•                The percentage of students who successfully complete college level courses;

•                Overall graduation rates and at-risk students’ graduation rates; and

College readiness in reading and math.

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