[UPDATE] 12-7 6:00PM
If there was ever a time to be a proud Godby High student, now would be that time.
The school went from an F school last year to a B school this year, one of only two schools in the entire state to do so, causing a campus wide celebration.
"I feel good because now we don't have people talking about us and saying we're under. We're on top now," says Godby student Carisha White.
Students and teachers here say they never felt that an F appropriately represented them, and now they're proving it.
"Now we feel like achievers because last year we found out we were another F, and we felt like underachievers and that brought everybody down," adds another student, Keyandria Lewis.
"I know how disappointed they were when we our grade went down and we talked about it a lot but they picked themselves up, they didn't let it- it didn't cripple them in any way and they took that challenge on and they were going to come back and I think it's a true representation of what we're doing as a high school," says Godby High principal Jean Ferguson.
Godby isn't the only school celebrating.
This is the first year that all six Leon County high schools are A and B schools.
"There were a lot of issues out there related to class size, Senate Bill 6, a lot of issues going aroung the legislature but I think our principals were focused, our teachers were focused, our teachers were focused, and they did what they had to do to make sure that we showed the type of improvement that we needed to show," says Leon County schools superintendent Jackie Pons.
School officials say there really was no secret to their success - just hard work and sticking to the curriculum.
Many students say it feels so good to be a B school and they don't ever want to go back down the scale.
[UPDATE] 12-7 11:20AM --
Today Leon County Schools received grades for the district’s six high schools, and for the first time ever all schools earned a grade of A or B. Five out of six LCS high schools improved one or more letter grades.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work of our students, teachers, parents and high school community,” said Superintendent of Schools Jackie Pons. “This level of student achievement is unprecedented and is truly a reason to celebrate.”
During what Florida Department of Education Commissioner Eric Smith called a “heroic effort by school districts throughout the state of Florida,” Leon County Schools excelled. For the first time ever, Rickards earned an A and Godby earned a B. Godby is one of only two high schools in the state of Florida to climb from an F to a B.
“This goes to show how the dedication and determination paid off in the Godby community,” said Superintendent Pons. “We have the best teachers in the state of Florida; if you are looking for super heroes, you can find them teaching throughout the Leon County School system.”
School Grades from 08-09 to 09-10
Chiles: B to an A
Godby: F to a B
Leon: C to a B
Lincoln: B to an A
Rickards: D to an A
SAIL: B to a B
Tallahassee, Florida –
Governor Charlie Crist today announced the performance of Florida’s high schools reached record levels in 2009-10 under a new, expanded high school grading system. Working in concert with fellow legislators, Department of Education officials and other education stakeholders, Senator Don Gaetz designed the new grading system to provide a more complete picture of students’ high school experiences while rewarding schools for an increased emphasis on preparing students for success in college or career. According to the grades released today, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of the state’s high schools achieved either an “A” or “B” grade during the 2009-10 school year. Standouts in the results include Gibbs, Miami Edison Senior, Miami Central Senior and Middleton high schools, four traditionally under-performing schools that all rose to a “C” grade.
“Our students rely on our schools for their future success, and today’s school grades indicate our school reform efforts are headed in the right direction,” Governor Crist said. “School grades measure what is important and give us the opportunity to reward success and progress, and I congratulate every student, parent, teacher and school leader throughout our state for their outstanding achievements.”
Of Florida’s 470 graded public high schools (including combination schools serving high school grade levels) earning "A" through "F" grades this year:
· 140 earned an "A" (30 percent), an increase of 46 schools compared to last year.
· 192 earned a "B" (41 percent), an increase of 81 schools compared to last year.
· 69 earned a "C" (15 percent), a decrease of 54 schools compared to last year.
· 58 earned a "D" (12 percent), a decrease of 62 schools compared to last year.
· 11 earned an "F" (2 percent), a decrease of 12 schools compared to last year.
“These are terrific results for our high schools, providing very clear evidence that they have stepped up their efforts to offer demanding coursework for their students and graduate more of them prepared for college or a career,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I’m extremely proud of Florida’s high school teachers, administrators and support staff for what they have accomplished and I’m confident that they are already looking ahead at how to accelerate this progress and make every academic measure at their school a success.”
Introduced as a part of Senate Bill 1908 during the 2008 legislative session, the new high school grading system is designed to grade schools based not only on student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), but also on their ability to graduate students, increase student participation and performance in advanced coursework, and better prepare students for college and career. Under the new requirements, 50 percent of a high school’s grade is based on the performance of their students on the FCAT, and the remaining 50 percent is based on factors that include the following:
· The school’s graduation rate.
· The performance and participation of students in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Dual Enrollment, Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), and industry certification.
· The post secondary readiness of the students as measured by the SAT, ACT, or College Placement Test (CPT).
· The high school graduation rate of at-risk students.
· Growth or decline in these data components from year to year.
“Our high schools do so much more than what is represented in our state assessments and I'm excited that we have been able to enhance our accountability process to reflect a broader picture of their of performance,” added Commissioner Smith. “Under the new high school grading formula, Florida has raised the bar of what our students are expected to achieve, and our schools have proven they can and will surpass those expectations.”
School Recognition Program Remains Incentive for Improvement
The Florida School Recognition Program rewards schools that have sustained high student performance or demonstrated substantial improvement in student performance. Schools that receive an “A,” or improve at least one performance grade from the previous year, are eligible to earn an additional $75 per student. The School Recognition Program has had a positive effect on schools maintaining and improving grades. In 2010, 60 high schools maintained their “A,” four newly opened high schools earned an “A,” 82 high schools improved to an “A,” and 158 high schools improved to a grade other than an “A” (including six high schools that maintained their grade after having improved two or more letter grades in the previous year).
[UPDATE] 12-7 11:00AM --
The Florida Department of Education releases Florida school grades for high schools.
Complete listings are attached above.
Statement by Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith regarding the release of 2010 School Grades:
“The release of School Grades this year provides a very unbiased view of the undeniable success we have achieved in raising the quality of education we provide our children. The results show that through a five year trend, the performance of our schools remains strong in both our elementary and middle grades and that despite the difficult economic times we have faced, we are maintaining the progress we have all worked so hard to achieve. The results also show us that declines in the number of “A” grades did occur compared to last year, highlighting the need to redouble our efforts and rediscover the strategies that have helped us to be so successful.
“School Grades represent the pinnacle of an assessment and accountability system that has brought great academic progress to the children of Florida. The hard work of our teachers combined with the application of these accountability measures has increased the performance of our schools year after year as they successfully educate more of the students they serve. This success is especially apparent in our student subgroups where minority, low income and special needs students have all made stunning progress in closing the achievement gaps they face.
“This success could only be possible through the embrace of accountability by teachers and school leaders, and I am pleased that their support remains strong in our state. But, as many of our superintendents have pointed out, accountability must be grounded in accurate measures for it to succeed, and it is precisely because of this that I retained the services of two additional independent testing experts to review this year’s results. Those experts concluded their audits earlier this week with a resounding vote of confidence in both our assessment system and the results produced by it.
“School Grades are an important indicator to families across the state who are searching for, and deserve the best educational opportunities for their children and I am pleased that we continue to provide such a quality measure for them to use as they make these important decisions. I also continue to be pleased with the strong involvement and collaboration by our teachers, principals and superintendents who have put this information to such good use. Together, our efforts will continue to raise the bar for our students, providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their dreams.”
Stay with WCTV for updates
Weeks after they were scheduled to be released, Leon County High Schools will finally see where they stand on the grading scale.
School grades for high schools across the state will be released Tuesday morning by the Florida Department of Education.
Elementary and middle school grades were late being released in August because of a delay in the FCAT scores. Many schools saw a drop in letter grades which prompted administrators to question the validity of the results.
However several high schools are anticipating their grades to increase.