Florida schools are receiving higher marks according to the annual state school report card released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education.
The 2017 school report card shows an increase in the number of schools receiving A’s and B’s. There were also fewer F schools.
Of the 3,200 graded schools in Florida, 57 percent of them received A’s and B’s. That’s up 11 percent over a year ago.
At the same time, the number of F schools dropped from 111 last year to 43 in 2017. That’s a decrease of 61 percent.
“I am incredibly proud of our state’s students, parents, teachers and leaders for their hard work, which led to these exceptional outcomes,” education commissioner Pam Stewart said in a news release. “Today’s announcement is further evidence that Florida’s accountability system is integral to ensuring all students have access to the high-quality education they deserve.”
The grades are determined by student performance on state tests. High school grades also take into account graduation rates and the performance of students tests tied to college level work or industry certifications.
Elementary schools saw the biggest increase in the number of A schools with 540 schools receiving a top grade. That’s an increase of 11 percent.
There is a financial incentive for those schools that do well on the annual report card. Schools that improve or get an “A” are eligible for a cash bonus of up to $100 in additional funding per student. That money can be spent on staff bonuses, equipment or materials or temporary personnel.
Those schools that receive a failing grade on the report card are placed on a mandatory performance plan that is approved by the state. Those schools also face the possibility of being closed if they don’t show improvement.