Brevard Public Schools Earn ‘A’ Grade, No. 1 Large District For College and Career Preparation
By Space Coast Daily // June 29, 2017
'takes community-wide collaboration'
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Brevard Public Schools was one of Florida’s highest performing large districts in 2016-2017 as more Space Coast schools earned As and Bs, as graded by the state.
Key results from school grades released by the Florida Department of Education:
• BPS earned an A overall, up from a B in 2015-2016.
• The percentage of A schools rose from 34 percent to 40 percent.
• The percentage of B schools rose from 26 percent to 30 percent.
• BPS ranked No. 1 among the 14 large Florida districts for college and career acceleration.
“That kind of improvement takes community-wide collaboration,” Superintendent Desmond Blackburn said.
“At BPS, we’ve made special efforts to listen to teachers and families. We’ve deepened school choice. We scaled-back performance evaluations to return time to teachers to devote to our students. We look forward to listening even more to the community on how we can improve.”
Two Brevard schools improved two letter grades, from Cs to As: Sea Park Elementary in South Patrick Shores and Cape View Elementary in Cape Canaveral.
Like other Florida districts, Brevard continues to grapple with poverty and other challenges in the classroom. However, BPS had no failing schools for the second year in a row, state data show.
Florida’s school-grading system measures up to 11 components per school, depending on grade level, including:
• Achievement: Average student test scores in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
• Learning gains: Percentage of full-year students who improved their performance in English and math. The state also judges learning gains by the lowest 25 percent of achievers.
• Graduation rate: Percentage of a “cohort” of students who start in ninth grade and graduate within four years.
• Middle-school acceleration: Percentage of students who passed a high school-level industry certification or end-of-course exam.
• College and career acceleration: Percentage of graduates who earned industry certifications, took dual-enrollment courses that qualified them for college credit, or took exams for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge courses.
Based on that criteria, Brevard ranked No. 2 overall out of Florida’s 14 large districts (those with more than 60,000 students).
Of surrounding counties in East Central Florida, Volusia, Osceola, Orange and Indian River are all B districts while Brevard and Seminole counties earned As.
In the past, Blackburn has criticized changes to the state’s grading system. But he acknowledged that state grades do measure performance and improvement in key areas that are important to students, parents and the economy.
“Improvement in our schools is always something to celebrate,” Blackburn said. “When I consider the great diversity in our student population, the relatively new curriculum standards, and all of the many challenges faced, to be one of the top districts in the state is awesome.”
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