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PRESS RELEASE

December 9, 2005

Jennifer Fennell
(850) 245-0413

New Department of Education Report Provides Florida High Schools With Feedback on Graduates

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner John L. Winn today unveiled a new Florida Department of Education report providing Florida’s public high schools with information about the performance of their 2004 graduates. Individualized for each school, the reports present a comprehensive profile of college readiness based on graduates’ performance while still in high school compared to their enrollment in and first semester performance at a postsecondary institution. Administrators can use the analyses contained in the report to effectively evaluate and plan school improvement strategies. This is the earliest schools have had access to this data and the first time it has been available in one, consolidated report.

“As an increasing number of Florida high school students are graduating and the growing workforce needs of our state call for employees with some sort of postsecondary education, it is essential that we are able to determine how well our high school students have been prepared for higher education,” said Commissioner Winn. “These reports will provide high school administrators and teachers with a valuable tool for improving student learning and achievement.”

Previously, Florida based its evaluation of college readiness solely on student performance on the Common Placement Test (CPT). However, performance on the CPT is just one of many indicators of student preparedness. The new reports, known as the “High School Feedback Reports,” include school, district and state level data on 10 pre-graduation and seven post-graduation indicators.

Pre-graduation indicators include performance on the tenth-grade Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), participation in the PSAT, SAT and ACT, number of students completing Advanced Placement, dual enrollment or other high-level courses and the percentage of students eligible for Bright Futures scholarships. Post-graduation indicators include the percentage of graduates attending a postsecondary institution in Florida, percentage of students enrolled in college-level Math and English courses and postsecondary fall term Grade Point Averages.

"Receiving timely data like this really helps schools focus on areas of concern that might not be apparent at first glance. The success of a high school can certainly be measured by more than just the number of graduates, and this data does a great job of digging down to specifics and shows just how well we are doing in many areas,” said Bill Husfelt, Principal of A. Crawford Mosley High School in Bay County. “I was excited to see the positive achievements of former graduates at the next level. These statistics confirm our belief that we are better preparing students for college than ever before."

Available to schools via the Department of Education’s website, information found in the reports was compiled from the K-20 Education Data Warehouse. A reference page explaining the calculations and sources of data is also available on the website. By combining Community College and Bright Futures data, the Department was able to provide a more complete history of students’ best test scores along with a snapshot of graduates’ participation in an academically-demanding and well-planned curriculum.

“I am very impressed with the new ‘High School Feedback Report,’ which provides a comprehensive picture of how our graduates do as they continue their postsecondary careers. As a former high school principal, one of the areas we always wanted to evaluate was our ability to prepare our graduates to be successful in their further educational endeavors,” said Bruce King, Director of Assessment and Accountability for Monroe County Public Schools. “While some of that data was available, it was difficult to work with and nowhere near as detailed as this report. I believe that our College and Career Counselors will find this extremely valuable as they work to raise public awareness about the value of a high school diploma and when encouraging students to take the most rigorous courses possible.”

For access to the reports, visit http://data.fldoe.org/readiness/.