MIAMI

Miami-Dade School District: Now With 16 Percent More 'A' High Schools, According To New FCAT Scores

01/04/2012 03:53 pm ET | Updated Mar 05, 2012

Miami-Dade County has more high-rating high schools and no failing ones, according to 2010-2011 FCAT scores released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

In fact, the number of "A" and "B"-ranked Miami-Dade high schools jumped to 36 out of 51 (71 percent), up from 28 in the 2009-2010 school year. "A"-ranked schools increased from 17 to 25, a 16 percent boost.

Perhaps most tellingly, not a single Miami-Dade high school earned an "F" grade in 2010-2011, a marked improvement from four schools receiving a failing grade the previous year and seven failing schools four years ago.

“This is the most dramatic academic performance improvement in the history of our school district,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho in a statement, citing numbers that included elementary and middle schools. “From three years ago, we doubled the number of 'A's from 15 to 31, increased the number of B’s by 33 percent, decreased the number of 'D's by 43 percent and eliminated 'F' high schools, many of which reside in some of our most challenging and impoverished communities.”

The grades are calculated annually, but for the second year in a row have also considered graduation rates, student participation, dual enrollment, and other factors in addition to students' marks on the dreaded Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Next year, they'll come with an asterisk: stricter grading for the FCAT was approved by the state in December.

Despite 71 percent earning "A" or "B" grades, Miami-Dade high schools fell just short of the improved statewide average of 78 percent, but beat the state average in full-component "A" schools 49 to 31 percent. Not too shabby for the nation's fourth-largest school district, which outpaces its national urban peers in math and reading.

"Our principals and teachers deserve this community’s gratitude, respect and congratulations,” Carvalho said.

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