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Duval Schools number one among Big 7 in several areas

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) released school grades for the 2016-17 school year, demonstrating that the hard work district leaders, teachers, administrators, parents and students are putting in each and every day of the school year is paying off! Duval schools showed improvement in individual school grades, student learning gains and across many accountability areas.

Some key highlights include:

  • The district increased the number of “A” schools from 28 to 41, and experienced an overall increase in letter grades with 89 percent of schools reaching an “A, B, or C” as compared to 75 percent last year.
  • DCPS reduced the number of “D” schools by 61 percent, going from 33 to 13 for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • The number of traditional schools receiving a school grade of F has decreased from 21 in 2014-15 to 2 in 2016-17.
  • The number of traditional schools receiving a school grade of D has decreased from 30 in 2014-15 to 13 in 2016-17.
  • Many schools demonstrated remarkable growth by improving two or more letter grades including Andrew Jackson Senior High School, Henry F. Kite Elementary School, S.A. Hull Elementary School, Garden City Elementary School and Love Grove Elementary School.

“Our school-level leaders and teachers continue to take ownership of instruction with data driven interventions and the incorporation of powerful strategies which promote high levels of student engagement. While [this] is a reminder of the great work done throughout all of our schools, we know there are areas for improvement,” Dr. Patricia Willis, interim superintendent, said.

Overall, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) ranked 20th among the 67 public school districts in the entire state of Florida and continued to maintain a district grade of “B.” DCPS also improved in 18 of 25 accountability areas from the previous year and saw double digit increases in proficiency for Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry, while the state only saw single digit increases. The district now ranks first among the seven largest urban school districts in Florida (Big 7) in the state for Biology, Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.  

The progress Duval County is making is undeniable:

  • In grades 3-10, the percentage of students who passed Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) English Language Arts (ELA) increased by 2 percentage points.

  • In grades 3-8, the percentage of students who passed FSA math and End of Course (EOC) assessments increased by 2 percentage points.

Here’s how Duval County compared to the other Big 7 school districts in the state of Florida (Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Palm Beach, and Pinellas):

  • In grades 3-10, five of the seven Big 7 school districts saw a 2 percentage point increase in students who passed FSA ELA with the exception of Orange and Palm Beach counties who saw a 1 percentage point increase.

  • In grades 3-8, Dade and Orange counties experienced a 3 percentage point increase in students who passed FSA math and EOCs followed by Broward and Duval counties with 2 percentage point increases, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties with a 1 percentage point increase, and Hillsborough county which did not show an increase.

The 36 schools that were originally selected to be supported under the Duval Transformation Office (DTO) and through the Quality Education for All (QEA) initiatives, demonstrated significant improvement with 29 percent of QEA schools improving by one letter grade from one year ago.

DTO elementary schools Henry F. Kite, S.A. Hull, and Biscayne earned the distinction of becoming “A” rated schools, and Andrew Jackson High School moved from a school grade of “D” to a “B.” 

Only one traditional school, Ramona Boulevard Elementary School, received an “F.” The Marine Science Center is in the process of being classified as an alternative program by the FLDOE so that it may receive a school improvement rating. Due to both schools earning school grades of “D,” the futures of Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School and Northwestern Middle School are being questioned due to the recent passage of HB7069 and the “Schools of Hope” bill.

School grades are calculated using a formula that takes into account grade-level performance in reading, math, science, select End of Course (EOC) Exams, learning gains in reading and math under the Florida State Assessment, graduation rates and accelerated performance from the previous year. Giving our children a strong head start in life gives our city a strong start to be all that we know it can be, and we are on our way to achieving excellence for all young people in Duval County. It all starts with a high quality public education driven by the excellent teachers and leaders working in and around our public schools each and every day. You can learn more about how school grades are calculated here, or you can visit the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) website for granular reporting by grade level.