Forty-Three Polk County Schools Improve Grades

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Polk County Public Schools is extremely pleased to announce that 43 schools improved by one or more school grades based upon the official data supplied today by the State Board of Education.

Superintendent Kathryn M. LeRoy praised the school district’s teachers and students for achieving so much progress, in particular since Florida’s new state-mandated assessment, the Florida Standards Assessment, was administered for the first time in the 2014-15 school year.

“We had 43 schools improve dramatically, and that is the biggest improvement we’ve seen in the last five years,” LeRoy said. “Our school leadership, teachers and students are amazing. They have worked so hard to improve their performance in reading, writing, mathematics and science. I am so proud – especially given that they had to comprehend, teach and learn new more rigorous State Standards. There is more work to be done, but this shows we are on the right track. We are on the precipice of even bigger success. Our percentage ranking moved from 59th to 52nd, and the school district is only 4/10 of a percentage point away from earning an overall grade of B.”

The following chart provides a breakdown of how Polk County schools performed over the last five years:

Changes in School Grades, 2010 to 2015

2014-15

2013-14

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

Improve

43

19

11

18

28

Maintain

62

48

38

43

64

Decline

15

51

68

54

23

  • 2014-15 had the highest number of Polk schools showing improvement, over the past 5 years
  • 2014-15 had the smallest number of Polk schools declining, over the past five years

The school year 2014-15 was the first year that the FSA was administered, which means no learning gains can be calculated for students. For districts with higher populations of students from low-income families, such as the Polk County School District, this is a crucial measure of the amount of progress that has been made by the students in their schools.

“We can only imagine how much more impressive our results would have been if learning gains were part of the school grade calculations,” LeRoy said. “As much as I wish that could be possible, I am still thrilled to see our progress thus far. Our students and teachers are truly remarkable.”

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