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State Releases Elementary & Middle School Preliminary Grades

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While last year’s grades are long gone from the minds of South Florida students, teachers and school board officials are taking a look at the state’s school grades released Friday.

On the upside, the number of elementary and middle schools in the Sunshine State earning a preliminary “A” increased by 195 (7 percentage points) over last year, according to preliminary data released by the Department of Education.

Also increased from last year, however, are the number of schools earning a preliminary “F” grade.

In Miami-Dade County, the number of elementary and middle schools earning a preliminary “A” increased by 30 schools in 2013-14, with 43-percent of Miami-Dade County schools now earning an “A” compared to 35 percent in 2012-13. In addition, 22 Miami-Dade County schools improved two or more letter grades between 2012-13 and 2013-14, including four schools that improved from a “D” to an “A” and two schools that improved from an “F” to a “B.”

Broward County, according to the data, increased the number of elementary and middle schools earning a preliminary grade of “A” by 16 schools in 2013-14, with 34 percent of Broward County schools now earning an “A” compared to 28 percent in 2012-13. In addition, nine Broward County schools improved two or more letter grades between 2012-13 and 2013-14.

“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,” said Commissioner of education Pam Stewart in a press release. “I appreciate the work by the educators, students and their families in the Big Bend and know they will continue to improve in the future.”

This is the final year school grades will be calculated using the current formula. The new grading system next year will support the more rigorous Florida Standards and the Florida Standards Assessment which will replace the FCAT. The new school grading formula will be more simple and transparent.

“The new grading system that will start next year will continue to be crafted with input from parents, teachers and educators,” added Stewart. “Its focus on student achievement and gains will help ensure a fair accountability system that helps measure student knowledge of the new Florida Standards.”

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