Florida parents will be able to look up schools based on their letter grades thanks to a new tool from the Florida Department of Education.
The FDOE unveiled a new website this week which will give parents the ability to compare school data with district data as well as give them the opportunity to learn more about Florida's education standards.
The FDOE is marketing the website primarily as an informational tool. On it, parents can find more information about school choice, the state's education standards and can even see what letter grade schools received for the 2015-2016 academic year.
“We take great pride in the fact that Florida leads the nation in school choice and student performance,” Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said. “Through the Florida Students Achieve website, we provide a central location where parents and families can access the information they need to make the best education decisions for their students. It is my hope that all Floridians will take advantage of this tremendous resource.”
For many schools, the website shows letter grades, graduation rates, the percentage of in-field teachers teaching and the total number of students at each school.
Those quick facts, the department says, can give parents an important snapshot of critical aspects of their child's education. Parents can also use the site to weigh their options when determining where their children will attend school.
Parents and members of the public can take the data found on the site and compare it to district performance.
“I am confident that this new tool will revolutionize the way students and parents learn about the schools in their area and throughout the state,” said State Board of Education Chair Marva Johnson. “I commend the department for responding to the needs of Florida’s families with this informative, intuitive and transparent website, and I look forward to its continuous development.”
The department is promoting the tool to Florida parents but has also acknowledged outsiders and possible future Florida residents might benefit from the site as well.
Business leaders, too, could use the site for their benefit as well. Florida Chamber Executive Vice President Tony Carvajal said education was a prime consideration among businesses since an educated workforce can often boost productivity.
“Education is one of the key factors that business leaders consider when determining the best location for their company’s operations,” Tony Carvajal, Florida Chamber Foundation Executive Vice President said. “This innovative approach to sharing school performance data and the state’s progress in education is precisely what we need to continue attracting prospective businesses that will bring more jobs to Florida.”