Keys high schools grade high

skinney@keynoter.comDecember 21, 2013 

In a year that saw a record number of Florida high schools receive a coveted A rating from the state Department of Education, two of Monroe County's three public high schools dropped a grade while the third had no change.

Based on results released Wednesday, Key West High went from an A to B for the 2012-13 school year, as did Marathon Middle/High School. Coral Shores High in Tavernier maintained a B grade for the third year in a row.

School grades are calculated on an 800-point scale considering factors such as student achievement on standardized tests and learning gains compared to the previous year.

"High school grades are perhaps the most valid and consistent part of the Florida accountability system," Monroe County School District Superintendent Mark Porter said. "Yet a school grade never tells the whole story, regardless of whether it is an A, B, or C. The real value comes when you dig deeper into the disaggregated data to identify specific areas of success and areas that must be targeted for improvement."

"Graduation rates, and in particular graduation rates for at-risk students, continue to be an identifiable area that must improve," he said. "This factor alone prevented Coral Shores High School and Key West High School from receiving an A grade."

Overall, 240 Florida high schools, representing 48 percent of the 502 high schools statewide, received an A rating.

Gov. Rick Scott has been pushing a $480 million Legislative earmark for teacher raises and tied that into school grades.

"It is clear that our teachers are succeeding in providing Florida students with a quality education," he said in a prepared statement. "A great education is the cornerstone of Florida's future and that's why we fought to provide $480 million for teacher pay raises."

Statewide, there were 240 A high schools, 152 B schools, 87 C schools, 15 D schools and eight F schools.

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