TAMPA — Consistent with the rest of the state, the number of Hillsborough County elementary and middle schools that received A grades skyrocketed this year as Florida gets ready to transition to a new set of standards, a new standardized test and a revamped grading system.
This year, 98 Hillsborough elementary and middle schools — or 45 percent — received A grades, up from 61 A schools last year.
The Florida Department of Education today released the last-ever elementary and middle school grades based on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. High school grades are typically released in December.
Next year, school grades will be based on a new test, the Florida Standards Assessment, which is aligned to the new Florida Standard.
The number of Hillsborough schools that received an F grade increased from five last year to seven this year.
This year’s F schools are Van Buren Middle, Lockhart Elementary Magnet, Sligh Middle, Mort Elementary, Potter Elementary, Riverhills Elementary Magnet and Community Charter School of Excellence.
Last year’s F schools all improved their grades, with the exception of Potter Elementary: Sheehy Elementary, Jennings Middle and Washington Elementary bumped their grade to a D and Woodmont Charter School improved to a C.
Statewide, the number of schools earning an A grade increased by 7 percent. The number of F schools also increased.
“The increase in the number of schools earning an A this year is great news for students and teachers who have worked hard for this success,” Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said in a prepared statement. “I appreciate the work by the educators and families and students and know they will continue to improve in the future even as we transition to a new grading system.”
The department says next year’s new grading system will be more simple and transparent.
“Its focus on student achievement and gains will help ensure a fair accountability system that helps measure student knowledge of the new Florida Standards,” Stewart said.