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August 31, 2005Jennifer Fennell or
Department of Education Awards $134 Million to High-Performing Schools
Gadsden Schools to receive more than $370,000 in school recognition funding
CHATTAHOOCHEE, FL Education Commissioner John L. Winn and state education officials announced $134 million in funding to 1,502 Florida schools in recognition of academic achievement and significant improvement for school year 2004-05. Under the A+ School Recognition Program, schools that achieve an 'A' or improve at least one grade from the previous year are awarded $100 per student. Since 1999, Florida has awarded more than $695 million in school recognition funding.
"It is a pleasure to recognize Florida schools that have worked so hard to succeed and made great strides in student achievement," said Department of Education K-12 Deputy Chancellor for Student Achievement Mary Jane Tappen. "I congratulate them for their efforts and wish them another year of success."
At a Chattahoochee Elementary School student assembly today, Deputy Chancellor Tappen joined by Gadsden District Superintendent Reginald James awarded $24,509 to the school for improving from an 'F' to a 'C'. She commended the school's students, faculty and administrators for their creative approach to improving. Mentors, guest readers and community partnerships helped contribute to the school's success last year. Students benefited from before and after-school programs, in addition to receiving computer-based, individualized tutoring each day. The student population at the school is 95 percent minority, with a free and reduced lunch rate of 83 percent.
Schools in Gadsden County will receive more than $370,000 for showing improvement or earning an 'A' grade (see attached). Recognition funds can be used by a school to cover the costs of non-recurring faculty incentives, such as educational equipment, new technology, staff bonuses, or hiring temporary personnel to assist in maintaining and improving student performance.
To highlight the success of schools throughout the state, Governor Jeb Bush visited schools in Duval and Pinellas counties and Commissioner Winn visited schools in Indian River and Miami-Dade counties. Deputy Chancellor Tappen also visited a school in Columbia County.
Under the leadership of Governor Bush, accomplishments for education include:
- A+/RISING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: Since 1999, Florida Comprehensive Assessment
Test (FCAT) reading and math scores have continued to improve, with the most
dramatic improvements made by minority students. For example, this year 71 percent
of all fourth graders could read at or above grade level, up from 48 percent
in 1999. Twice as many African-American and Hispanic fourth graders are reading
at or above grade level. In 2005, 56 percent of African-American students scored
at or above grade level compared to 23 percent in 1999 and 66 percent of Hispanic
students scored at or above grade level compared to 37 percent in 1999. The
percent of third through fifth graders scoring at or above grade level has gone
up remarkably since ending social promotion in 2003, with 69 percent of all
third through fifth graders reading at or above grade level, up 55 percent from
- A+ PLAN/SCHOOL GRADES: In 1999, when school grading began, the number
of 'D' and 'F' schools outweighed the number of 'A' and 'B' schools 677 to 515.
Following the 2004-05 academic year, the number of schools receiving a grade
of 'A' or 'B' rose to 1,843, while the number of 'D' and 'F' schools dropped
to 308. This year, 66 percent of Florida schools received an 'A' or 'B' grade,
while only 12 percent received a 'D' or 'F' grade. In 1995, the State of Florida
had 158 low-performing schools. Despite the fact that student performance standards
have been raised three times since then, the number of low-performing schools
has been cut in half. The Governor's Assistance Plus program continues to provide
failing schools with additional resources to address their areas of weakness.
In addition to increased funding approximately $1,000 more per student failing
schools receive school improvement facilitators, reading coaches, and technical
assistance, as well as assessments to monitor student progress.
- FUNDING INCREASES: Funding for K-12 has increased by 54 percent
in the last seven years, providing $6.1 billion more in 2005-06 than in 1998-99.
Per student funding has increased by $1,564 in seven years, a 32 percent increase.
During this time, the state has dedicated nearly $100 billion to education.
- MENTORING: In 1999, the Governor's Mentoring Initiative was established
to help students excel in school and life by recruiting 200,000 mentors statewide.
This year, after recruiting more than 204,000 mentors, the initiative was renamed
the Florida Mentoring Partnership, to reflect the strong alliance among the
many organizations and individuals that work in concert to keep mentoring strong
in Florida. Additionally, the Partnership has formed an advocacy council that
will work to keep mentoring at the forefront of state policy and statewide practice.
- JUST READ, FLORIDA!: In fiscal year 2005-06, this initiative received
$89 million for a K-12 comprehensive, district-wide system of research-based
reading instruction with $50,000 minimum for each school district. Since 2002,
Just Read, Florida! has used state and federal funding to provide reading coaches
for teachers. Reading coaches serve teachers through modeling lessons, delivering
professional development, analyzing data, and administering assessments. For
the 2005-06 school year, approximately 2,000 K-12 reading coaches will serve
approximately 80,000 teachers and nearly 1.7 million students statewide. Just
Read, Florida! is the Governor's statewide reading initiative designed to achieve
the goal of every child reading at or above grade level by the year 2012.
- ADVANCED PLACEMENT/PSAT-SAT TESTS: Record numbers of Florida students are taking college entrance and Advanced Placement (AP) exams, with the percentage of minority students taking the exams steadily increasing and surpassing the national averages. The latest results show the number of SAT test takers in Florida increased seven percent to more than 93,500 the highest ever. In the class of 2005, there was a 15.5 percent increase in the number of African-American students taking the SAT and a 24.7 percent increase in the number of Hispanic students taking the exam. Similar trends were reflected in the number of Florida ACT test-takers. In 2005, African Americans represented 20 percent of the Florida test takers compared to only 13 percent nationwide. Hispanic students comprised 16 percent of Florida ACT test-takers compared to only eight percent for the nation. Additionally, Florida has the second greatest increase in the number of public school AP exam-takers when compared to all other states from 2004 to 2005.
|Havana Middle School||$28,100.00|
|East Gadsden High School||$104,184.00|
|Havana Elementary School||$47,393.00|
|Greensboro Elementary School||$43,958.00|
|Chattahoochee Elementary School||$24,509.00|
|St. Johns Elementary School||$30,667.00|
|James A. Shanks Middle School||$78,113.00|