School Grades 2014: 'A' Schools Up, But So Are 'F' Schools

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: July 11, 2014 12:00 PM

Preliminary school grades for Florida’s elementary and middle schools were released Friday, showing the state’s schools earned more "A"s in 2014 -- as well as more "F"s.

According to the Florida Department of Education report, 195 schools earned more “A” grades in 2014, a 7 percent increase from last year’s grades. Nearly 250 fewer schools earned “B” grades this year -- a 10 percent drop from 2013.

The report also found while the number of “A” schools increased, so did the number of schools earning a failing grade. Over 70 more schools received an “F” grade this year, ticking up the number of failing Florida schools to 7 percent.

The scores are based on students’ performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), which measures academic achievement in science, mathematics and reading.

A press release from the DOE noted the increase in failing schools and vowed it was focused on getting flunking schools the necessary assistance and support they need for their students to perform better.

Schools were protected from dropping more than one letter grade under the state’s “safety net” provision. The State Board of Education voted last year to extend the measure through the 2014-2015 academic year.

Several of the state’s largest districts earned similar grades. Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough and Orange counties all earned "B"s as their preliminary district grades.

Only three districts -- Hamilton, Jefferson and Madison Counties -- earned "F"s as their preliminary district grades.

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart praised the news of Florida’s high-performing schools.

“The increase in the number of schools earning an ‘A’ this year is great news for students and teachers who have worked hard for this success,” she said. “I appreciate the work by the educators and families and students and know they will continue to improve in the future, even as we transition to a new grading system.”

2014 is the last year Florida’s schools will be using the current grading system. Come next year, the department will be overhauling how the state doles out grades, primarily due to a transition from the FCAT to the Florida Standards Assessment, a new test more closely aligned with the state’s new standards.

According to Stewart, the new grading system will be crafted with input from teachers and parents from across the state.

“Its focus on student achievement and gains will help ensure a fair accountability system that helps measure student knowledge of the new Florida Standards,” she explained.

So far there have been no specifics on when the factors for the new grading system will be determined.

High school grades are due out later this year.

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen. 

Comments (5)

Albert J. Shalhoub
1:01PM JUL 12TH 2014
There are a number of things that contribute to an F rating. 1 Parents who do not have enough interest in there childerns school. When they have a meeting with there teachers they do not show up. 2 Teachers who only care about a pay check an not the students. 3 THE TEACHERS UNION, they only are interested in POWER. 4 TENURE, there should be NO TENURE. The teachers have a union, they do not need Tenure. There are to many BAD TEACHERS who cannot be fired because of Tenure.
5 Common Core this is as bad as FCAT. Let the teachers teach, if a child does not pass he or she should be left back, then maybe there parents would get more involved.
6 SPORTS, a child can pass a football, dribille a basketball or hit a baseball for only so long an then they must earn a living an only having a good education can give them that. NOT EVERY CHILD CAN BE A PROFESSIONAL BALL PLAYER.
4:09AM JUL 13TH 2014
What power in the teachers union? Maybe you should be talking about the overpaid school boards and the money they waste. Teachers in this state hardly get paid. You sound like Jeb Bush and him wanting to turn our school system to investors. it is working well for them.
C Breeze
9:49AM JUL 12TH 2014
Yeah but..! With Charlie "the tuna" Crist you would get all of the "Common Core" nonsense espoused by Obama, Arne Duncan, Jeb Bush, Hi-liar-y and their ilk...and NONE of it even "watered down" ...
(and that's 'streamlined', for those of you who breezed through an "F" school and believe this is Governor Scott's last year in office)
2:57PM JUL 11TH 2014
Over 70 Schools earned "F" grades for 2014 under Rich Scott as Governor and this is his last year as Governor. This needs to be stream lined to his campaign to be reelected for a 2nd term as our Governor. You can pour more money into the school system but if you don't know how to fix the problem then it is time for new leadership. Haven't we learned from the lack of leadership in Washington D.C.? Florida citizens need to wake up and see that our children's schools are not in the "F" Grouping.
4:04AM JUL 13TH 2014
Scott took money out of education. THANKS

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