2021-22 grades ‘exceeded expectations’ as Central Florida school districts show little to no improvement

FDOE Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. lauds ‘incredible results’

Florida Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., speaks for a bill during a legislative session at the Florida State Capitol, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Education on Thursday released reports of school grades, improvement ratings and other accountability metrics for the 2021-22 academic year, noting it was the first full publication of such data since 2019.

In a news release attached to the report, the department said the results “show that schools statewide exceeded expectations,” with Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. crediting Gov. Ron DeSantis for the good news.

“From Spring 2021 to Spring 2022, it’s clear that our teachers and school leaders used every resource at their disposal to lift Florida’s students well beyond expectations,” Diaz said. “We know that these results are thanks to policies that kept schools open and kept kids in the classroom, which has been widely recognized as critical to student achievement. Today we can celebrate these incredible results, while continuing to support the schools that are struggling. With Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida will continue to support our great teachers and implement world class instructional and educational supports to uplift Florida’s education family.”

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According to the state, the “grades” for any given school are calculated by combining as many as 11 factors, including the percentages of full-year students who received passing scores in the four achievement components of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, the percentage of high school graduates who earned passing scores in college and career acceleration courses, graduation rates and so on. All of these percentages are added before being divided by 100, and this gives the result.

In the release, the state highlighted individual schools based on their improvements, but not districts.

For example, the FDOE mentioned how every single school that graded F in 2019 improved their grades in 2022, with one earning a B at last check, as well as the following other achievements:

  • 53 schools exited the School Improvement Support list in 2022.
  • 84% of schools graded D and F in 2019 improved their grades in 2022.
  • Overall, elementary schools had the largest increase in the percentage of schools increasing their grade with 20% (351) of elementary schools improving one or more letter grade.
  • 469 schools increased their grade in 2022, while 825 schools maintained an A grade and 348 schools maintained a B grade compared to 2019.

Zooming out, the achievements are nowhere near as acute.

Like any other news station, News 6 caters to a designated market area (DMA), with ours comprising of Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties.

Here are their results:

District grades '22. (Florida Department of Education)

Between 2019 and 2022, the table shows none of the 10 school districts in this DMA improved their letter grades, with the majority actually getting worse results.

Brevard, Flagler, Orange and Sumter counties went from A to B, Marion and Polk counties went from B to C and Seminole, Lake, Osceola and Volusia kept the grades they were reporting three years ago. Seminole County’s grade was already an A, as the district mentioned on Twitter.

FDOE leaders said they applauded the effort from students, parents, faculty and staff that “defied conventional wisdom” and which serve to set the bar for closing achievement gaps in the future.

Read more and crunch the numbers yourself on the FDOE’s website.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.