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Press Release

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

School Grades Reflect New Higher Standards

- Tougher assessments, higher achievement levels, new performance components figure into school grade results -

Tallahassee, Fla., July 11, 2012 - As Florida continues efforts to raise school performance, the state's school grades are being calculated using more rigorous standards and new achievement levels. According to the 2012 school grades report for elementary, middle and some combination schools released today by the Florida Department of Education, 89 percent of schools (2,301) earned an A, B, or C grade and 11 percent (285) earned a D or F grade.

"This has been a year of tremendous change for Florida's students, teachers, and schools," said Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. "Florida's economic future depends on preparing our students for success. The high standards we have in place today will help our students prepare for college, the workforce and life. I am confident that we are on the right path to prepare our students to compete with the best in the nation and around the world."

Florida has raised expectations for school grades five times in the past ten years. The results show that after an initial drop, school grades improved consistently in the years that followed. As Florida moves toward implementing the Common Core State Standards in 2014-15, the progress seen over the next few years will smooth the transition to the more challenging standards.

2012 School Grades
Elementary, Middle and Combination Schools (without high school grades)
School Grade Number Percentage
A 1,124 43%
B 667 26%
C 510 20%
D 238 9%
F 47 2%

"I am particularly pleased that it is the first time that we have included students who are just learning English and students with disabilities in the school grade performance component," added Commissioner Robinson. "It is important that we measure our schools by the performance of all students, since that is the most accurate and fair way to represent our diverse state."

Based on a recommendation by the Commissioner's Taskforce on Inclusion and Accountability, the State Board of Education approved a policy ensuring that no school would drop more than one letter grade from the previous year. This provides Florida's public school leaders, teachers and students a year of transition to the new standards.

Florida has graded schools on an A-F scale since 1999, offering parents, teachers, students and taxpayers a simple and effective way to see how well their schools are doing. High-performing schools and those that improve their school grade may receive school recognition dollars, and struggling schools will receive extra help to improve. Florida's school improvement or Differentiated Accountability program provides focused support for low-performing schools. Through five regional support teams, the Florida Department of Education offers districts and schools the expertise of individuals with a proven track record of increasing student achievement. The teams work directly with schools and districts to develop individualized improvement plans designed to increase student performance. For more information about Florida's support for low-performing schools, visit the Bureau of School Improvement.

School Grade Resources
For more information about the Florida school grading program and to view your school's grade information, visit School Grades.

A summary of the 2012 school grading formula is available at Grading Florida's Public Schools (PDF).

Parent resources and FAQs are available at Florida's Path to Success and Just for Parents.