Public schools

Tougher Standards Lead to Failing Grades for FL Public Schools

At least they didn't lower the bar


TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education released a preliminary public school report card on Friday and the results are sobering.

According to a statewide evaluation, the number of F-rated elementary and middle schools doubled since last year while A-rated schools dropped by 19-percent. Schools earning grades of "C" and "D" marked the highest percentages of growth, and if not for a "safety net provision" limiting schools to only one letter grade drop, the results would have been even worse.

But that's all progress, sort of.

During a media conference call on Friday, Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett told reporters that the dramatic decline in school grades was due to higher accountability standards meant to prepare Florida schools for the national Common Core initiative beginning 2014.