Sarasota County Schools among 3 'A' districts in 2016 Florida School Grades

Sarasota County Schools among 3 'A' districts in 2016 Florida School Grades

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Earlier this month, the Florida Department of Education released the 2016 Florida School Grades. According to a recent Sarasota Herald-Tribune article, the grades -- which evaluate both districts and their respective schools -- are based on “11 measures, mostly related to statewide standardized test scores and learning gains shown through those scores. Learning gains measure improvement in core subject areas such as math and reading.”

The 2016 scores had been anticipated with some anxiety given recent changes to the grading metrics and new learning standards. However, much to the relief of teachers, principals, and School Board members, Sarasota County managed to receive an ‘A’ grade for the 13th consecutive year. Statewide, Sarasota County was one of only three districts receiving an ‘A.’

“I’m very glad we stayed an A district,” Shirley Brown, chairwoman of the Sarasota County School Board, told the Herald-Tribune. “I think it goes to show we’re working and keeping our eye on the ball.”

Throughout the district, 22 schools in Sarasota earned an A, 16 were rated B, and 12 received a C. Those schools with higher grades are often eligible for additional funding and those with lower grades are subject to additional oversight.

While some parents and education leaders have expressed concern and disagreement over how the grades are calculated, Pam Stewart, the Florida Department of Education’s commissioner, was quoted as saying, “The great benefit of our state’s accountability system is that it constantly shines a light on areas that need improvement.”