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Florida Releases 2013 School Grades For Elementary And Middle Schools

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The Florida Department of Education released grades for the state's elementary and middle schools Friday morning, and the outlook doesn't look good for 2013.

The number of A-rated schools fell nearly 39 percent this year, according to the Associated Press, while the number of F-rated schools more than doubled.

And without a new grade adjustment policy used this year, those drops would have been much worse.

Members of the state's Board of Education, claiming that the grading system is flawed, implemented a one-year "safety-net" policy to prevent some schools from falling more than one letter grade.

"What began as a pure grading system, a pure measure, over time has become overly nuanced," Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett said.

Without the safety net, 339 of the 2,513 schools evaluated would have dropped an additional grade, 40 schools would have dropped two more letter grades, and nine would have dropped three more letter grades.

The database includes whether a school's grade was adjusted due the safety net.

For 2013, Broward's school district dropped from a B to an overall C, and Palm Beach's dropped from an A to a B.

Meanwhile the Miami-Dade school district ranked a B overall, holding strong at that grade since 2008.

The overall district and school grades are based on the percentage of students scoring “satisfactory” or higher on the FCAT as well as the percentage of students whose scores improved from the previous year, according to State Impact of Florida.

Across Dade, 57 percent of elementary and middle school students had satisfactory or higher reading skills; 59 percent had satisfactory or higher math skills; 58 percent in writing, and 54 percent in science.

See the complete database here.

Florida's grades for high schools will be released later this year.

This is a developing story.

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