Despite news that Miami-Dade County 16% more A-ranked schools than it did last year and admirable reading and math skills, the district as a whole did not fair so well. Today the Florida Department of Education released its school district rankings, based on FCAT scores.
Out of 67 districts, Dade came in 37th with a B. And in 8 years, Dade has had 2 Cs, 6 Bs, and no As. The local district ranked poorly in science, with only 47% students receiving at Level 3 or higher on the FCAT.
Broward came in 26th with an A. Over the last 8 years, Broward has received 5 As, 3 Bs, and no Cs. But like Dade, Broward ranked poorly in science with only 48% students scoring at Level 3 or higher.
Meanwhile Palm Beach scored the highest of the three at position 16 and getting an A. Since 2003, Palm Beach has been scored an A school district in all but one year. The district score more than 10 percentage points higher in science FCAT score.
St. Johns County near Jacksonville ranked first. See the full list of Florida school district rankings here.
Board of Education Vice Chairman Roberto Martinez told the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau that a ranking system based solely on a test score was unfair to diverse, urban areas like Miami-Dade.
In a FOE video released with the rankings, Commissioner Gerard Robinson acknowledges that the issue is more complicated than a summary of test scores. In the below video, he addresses those concerns:
"We're well aware that there are social and economic factors that influence how we deliver education to children and the impact that it will have. By having this annual ranking is to see see how districts move from year-to-year, to provide an opportunity to see how points will change, and third is to have a conversation about what we can do as citizens to support our public school systems."
Despite Miami-Dade's low ranking, the Tampa Bay Times points out that the county is positioned to be most-improved.
"No big district in Florida has done better in boosting the percentage of students passing the FCAT in reading and math from 2001 to 2010. In reading progress, Miami-Dade ranked No. 2 among all districts, while St. Johns ranked No. 16."