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PRESS RELEASE

January 29, 2004

Frances Marine
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Jim Horne Announces Florida Among First to Post No Child Left Behind Data on New National Website
Latest data shows 526 Florida schools make adequate yearly progress in 2002-03

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner Jim Horne today announced that Florida is among the first states to post its data on SchoolResults.org, a new website unveiled this morning as part of the School Information Partnership. The new site displays school, district, and state data required to be publicly reported under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. After releasing preliminary results last fall, Florida schools and districts had 30 days to request further review of their adequate yearly progress (AYP) designations. The information posted on the website reflects the finalized AYP determinations required under NCLB.

"The improvements we have seen in Florida are the result of the hard work of teachers, students, administrators, and parents armed with student-specific data," said Governor Jeb Bush. "I applaud the efforts of the School Information Partnership in providing data on a national level to all of those interested in seeing students succeed."

Florida, Delaware, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington are the first states to be featured on SchoolResults.org. The web site includes a suite of interactive analytical tools from Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services and the National Center for Educational Accountability's Just for the Kids. Information on all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia - each of which define proficiency differently under their NCLB accountability plans - is expected to be available this summer.

"Under Governor Bush's leadership, Florida is using data to benchmark high-performing schools and arming parents and educators with the tools they need to help students through individualized, data-driven instruction," said Commissioner Horne. "SchoolResults.org will add to our ability to focus our school improvement efforts and to measure the results."

Recent state by state comparisons from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP - also known as "the Nation's report card"), showed . Florida was the only state in the nation to show significant improvement in 4th grade reading. Florida out-improved all of the states currently posted on SchoolResults.org in 4th grade reading, 4th grade mathematics, and 8th grade writing.

Florida's standards are among the highest in the nation and AYP was calculated for the first time in the 2002-03 school year. Over the past two months, the Department of Education reviewed data submitted by districts for over 300 schools. The final AYP designations incorporate systemic data corrections, which were applied to all schools and districts, and review data corrections that were applied to the schools requesting the review.

"The effort extended by many schools and school districts in reviewing the AYP preliminary data reflects a growing understanding of the importance that data plays in serving our students effectively," said Commissioner Horne. "Florida continues to raise the bar and the performance of our students on state and national assessments, as well as college preparatory and entrance exams, shows that Florida students and schools are making tremendous progress."

Of the 3,182 schools in Florida that received an AYP designation, 526 schools (16.5 percent) made AYP. Many schools that did not make AYP - 48 percent - missed between one and five of the potential 63 AYP criteria. If one criterion is not met, the entire school does not make AYP. For example, there were 102 "A" schools that that missed AYP by only one criterion.

"Florida is continuing steadily along our path to excellence as outlined in the A+ Plan," said Commissioner Horne. "The fact that so many of our schools are very close to meeting the AYP criteria is evidence that Florida can and will attain the high standards we have established for ourselves."

The systemic and review corrections resulted in AYP designation changes for 265 schools, none of which made AYP in the preliminary release. Of the 265 schools that changed designations, 117 changed to a 'Yes' AYP designation and 148 (primarily Department of Juvenile Justice facilities) changed to receive a 'no determination' for AYP due to their small size. AYP designation changes were mainly a result of data corrections that identify students and their corresponding assessment scores or changes in AYP calculations designed to address very small schools. A complete list of schools with changed AYP determinations is attached (PDF). For information on specific schools and districts in Florida, please visit the Florida Department of Education's website at: http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org.

The School Information Partnership is a public-private collaboration designed to empower parents, educators and policymakers to use the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) data to make informed decisions and improve school results. For schools, districts and states across the nation, the website will display available data required to be publicly reported under NCLB. This initiative is funded by The Broad Foundation and U.S. Department of Education. For additional information on the School Information Partnership and data on the first six states to go online, please visit www.SchoolResults.org.