State leaders tout improved school grades

Florida education officials on Thursday touted the state’s annual school report card as a “monumental improvement,” with public schools earning more A and B grades and fewer C, D and F grades during the 2018-2019 school year.

The number of schools that received A grades increased from 1,043 during the 2017-2018 year to 1,172 in 2018-2019. State officials said 24 of Florida’s 67 school districts now have A grades, while none had D or F grades for the second year in a row. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the school grades statewide show Florida is on a “successful trajectory.”

Each year, the Florida Department of Education calculates school grades by looking at 11 factors. The factors include student performance on statewide standardized tests, high school graduation rates and student achievement and learning gains. The grade scale is from A to F.

“Education is the means by which we free children from the shackles of ignorance,” Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said in a prepared statement. “A community has the right to have key insights into its schools and school grades.”

State Board of Education Chairwoman Marva Johnson said in a statement that it is “unacceptable” for one student to spend time in a failing school, adding that school grades are important to ensure there is accountability in the education system.