FCAT Scored Released for Elementary & Middle Schools

ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADES RELEASED: CHARTER SCHOOLS SHOW PROGRESS BUT CHALLENGES WITH GRADING FORMULA PERSIST

FLORIDA - July 14, 2014 - The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) released the 2013-14 School Grades for elementary and middle schools this past Friday. According to that preliminary data, 962 elementary and middle schools statewide earned an “A” – 174 of those are public charter schools; and ten of the top 20 scoring schools are charter schools. The chart below shows the top 20 schools statewide and the preliminary points earned out of a possible 900.

  • 832 GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER MIDDLE SCHOOL - MAGNET (Miami-Dade) 831 * DORAL ACADEMY OF TECHNOLOGY (Miami-Dade) 824 * ARCHIMEDEAN MIDDLE CONSERVATORY (Miami-Dade) 804 *TERRACE COMMUNITY MIDDLE SCHOOL (Hillsborough) 794 ADA MERRITT K-8 CENTER - MAGNET (Miami Dade) 792 HERBERT A. AMMONS MIDDLE SCHOOL (Dade) 788 BAK MIDDLE SCHOOL OF THE ARTS (Palm Beach) 783 JULIA LANDON COLLEGE PREPARTORY & LEADERSHIP (Duval) 768 FRUIT COVE MIDDLE SCHOOL (St. Johns) 767 * AVENTURA CITY OF EXCELLENCE SCHOOL (Dade) 764 WILLIAMS MIDDLE MAGNET SCHOOL (Hillsborough) 761 * THE SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES (Leon) 760 SWITZERLAND POINT MIDDLE SCHOOL (St. Johns) 759 WILSON MIDDLE SCHOOL (Hillsborough) 758 * ISAAC: INTEGRATED SCIENCE AND ASIAN CULTURE ACADEMY (Dade) 758 * SOMERSET ACADEMY ELEMENTARY SOUTH MIAMI (Dade) 758 * SOMERSET ACADEMY CHARTER MIDDLE SOUTH MIAMI (Dade) 755 * FRANKLIN ACADEMY (Broward) 753 * SEASIDE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL (Walton) 752 CLEARWATER FUNDAMENTAL MIDDLE SCHOOL (Pinellas)

“The good news is that many charter schools made gains this year and raised their overall school grade,” said Robert Haag, President of the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools. “Public charter schools have made incredible progress, especially among minority students, and in the underserved communities, since opening in Florida 18 years ago. I am optimistic about the improvement in Florida’s public education system but there is much work to be done. The lowest performing students and the schools that serve them need more support, and new charter schools need time to properly implement instructional programs that will help students make progress and the necessary gains to move forward.”

A number of charter schools made enough gains to raise their overall school grade. Three charter schools went from a D in 2013 to an A: Renaissance Charter at Poinciana (Osceola), Lincoln Marti International Campus (Dade) and Mater Academy of International Studies (Dade). Twelve raised their scores enough to move from a C to an A: Renaissance Charter School at University, Somerset Preparatory Charter Middle, and Florida Intercultural Academy K-8 West in Broward County; Just Arts & Management Charter Middle, Mater Brickell Preparatory Academy, and Somerset Academy Middle School – Country Palms in Dade; Shiloh Middle Charter, and RCMA Leadership Academy in Hillsborough: P.M. Wells Charter Academy, and Canoe Creek Charter Academy in Osceola; Renaissance Charter School of St. Lucie, and College Preparatory Academy of the Treasure Coast in St. Lucie.

There’s an even longer list of charter schools that went from a B to an A: Alachua: Micanopy Area Cooperative School, Expressions Learning Arts Academy Brevard: Royal Palm Charter School Broward: Franklin Academy B; Renaissance Charter School of Coral Springs; Somerset Neighborhood School; Imagine School South Campus; North Broward Academy of Excellence; Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science; North Broward Academy of Excellence Middle School; and Imagine Charter School of Broward. Dade: Coral Reef Montessori Academy Charter; Advantage Academy Santa Fe; Miami Children's Museum Charter School; Somerset Academy at Silver Palms; Mater Grove Academy; and Just Arts and Management Charter Middle Duval: River City Science Elementary Academy Escambia: Byrneville Elementary School, Glades: Pemayetv Emahakv Charter Middle School Hillsborough: Learning Gate Community School, Tampa Charter School, and New Springs School Indian River: North County Charter School Lee: Christa McAuliffe Charter Elementary School Orange: Cornerstone Academy Charter Pasco: Dayspring Academy Pinellas: Athenian Academy Polk: Dale R Fair Babson Park Elementary, South McKeel Academy Sarasota: Imagine School At North Port

Although many elementary and middle schools made progress this year, there were several whose grades were lower than expected -- even though they gained ground in math and reading proficiency.

Making progress has proven particularly challenging at new schools explains Sonia Mitchell from Florida International Academy Elementary (Dade) which opened just two years ago. “Our children, and teachers, have worked so hard. Many of the students came to us already performing way below grade level. They have made admirable gains in reading and math, but unfortunately it’s not enough to raise our overall grade – especially when calculated using the updated grading formula.” In their press release, FDOE explained that the number of failing schools increased this year -- in part because of the current grading formula – but the Department is “ensuring all low performing schools are provided the necessary assistance and support they need to help their students achieve.

This is the final year school grades will be calculated using the current formula and the FCAT. A new grading system based on Florida Standards and the Florida Standards Assessment will be implemented next year. That grading formula, FDOE promises, will be simple and more transparent.

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