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Flagler District Scores an A for 3rd Year in a Row as 3 Schools Maintain A, 3 Drop Back

| August 6, 2010

standardized testing problems

It's one way to make work.

The state today released district-wide and school-wide ratings based on this year’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results for elementary and middle schools. For the third year in a row, the Flagler County school district scored an A.

Three schools maintained their A rating: Belle Terre Elementary, Buddy Taylor Middle and Indian Trails Middle. Wadsworth Elementary maintained its B rating. Three schools fell back: Bunnell Elementary, from A to B; Old Kings Elementyary, from A to B, and Rymfire Elementary, from B to C.

Speaking about the scores, Florida Commissioner of Education Eric Smith said a third of elementary schools dropped one letter grade or more, and 28 percent of middle schools did. He attributed the drop in scores in part to the state’s difficult economy and a 10 percent increase, in the last three years, of the proportion of students on free or reduced lunch, an indicator of increasing poverty. More difficult economic circumstances, transience triggered by foreclosures, and even a rise in student and family homelessness, have all played a role in students’ academic work. Those circumstances, Smith said, may have a hand in lesser scores overall.

In Flagler County, those circumstances apply especially at Rymfire Elementary, which has been hit particularly hard by students affected by foreclosures or children of families in transit.

Smith also pointed to a loss of $71 million in federal and state dollars over the past three years that once were earmarked for remedial reading programs. Those losses have had to be made up by local school districts–if they could afford to do so. Many haven’t been able to do so.

Ratings for Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School won’t be released until late November or early December.

Charter schools, which aren’t required to abide by the same rigorous standards as traditional public schools but are nevertheless funded by tax dollars, also get letter grades. In Flagler County, only Imagine School got a grade, improving from a D last year to an A, with 545 cumulative points earned from nine categories.

To elaborate on Darren May’s point in the comments: To score an A, a school must have 525 points or more, test at least 95 percent of its students and show learning gains of more than 50 percent among students in the lowest-performing quarter.

Indian Trails scored a cumulative 604 points, Buddy Taylor scored 568, Belle Terre 565. Bunnell Elementary scored 521 and Wadsworth Elementary 523. Old Kings Elementary scored 529, enough for an A, but fell two points short of the 50 percent mark in the lowest-performing quarter’s learning gains in reading. Rymfire Elementary had a cumulative 489 points.

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17 Responses for “Flagler District Scores an A for 3rd Year in a Row as 3 Schools Maintain A, 3 Drop Back”

  1. Bob K says:

    Looks like Imagine School, recently lambasted right here on Flagler Live, beat all the district elementary schools. Must be, of course, because noone there gets a free lunch?

  2. H. Peter Stolz says:

    I wonder how the district scored an A. Bunnell went down to a B; Old Kings went to a B; Wadsworth maintained its B; Rymfire went to a C. So only one elementary school graded as an A. Both middle schools maintained an A (congratulations). I wonder what kind of curve the overall district was graded on so the staff and schoolboard can congratulate itself on being an A district.

  3. Jim Guines says:

    And the State Department gets an “F” for being so late with some of the results (high schools not here, yet) of the FCAT which costs over $200,000,00 each year to administer. Not only were the results late, but there were major problems with the actual results which had been previously reported by some school districts in the state. Until those types of problems have been worked out, it may be better for the State Department of Education to discontinue the use of FCAT and the large waste of money until it get everything worked out

  4. Irritated says:

    Well, charter schools still take the “rigorous” FCAT that seems so all-important. And their school score is based on the same formula as any other school.

  5. NoName says:

    I would love for you to try and walk in any teachers shoes for just 1 hr during the day. Instead of being so negative about education (especially Charter schools) why don’t you try to be positive about anything in education and you might find that…. WOW being positive isnt so bad.

  6. PCadiron says:

    Wow! I hate to see what a B or C district’s schools look like if Flagler gets an overall A rating w/ individual scores like this! Something is not averaging out correctly in my opinion.
    How can they even give the rating if the high school scores haven’t been released yet? It seems kind of like smoke and mirrors to me.
    Congrats to Imagine though for so much improvement in one year.

  7. Monica Campana says:

    Congrats to Imagine – huge improvement! Congrats to BTES who had the highest elementary scores! Congrats to the “tough crowd” teachers at both our middle schools who kept the A by showing improvement. Congrats to the teachers and staff at all schools who are hanging in there in tough times. And finally congrats to all our Flagler kids who worked hard – and they are ALL ours.

    For those wondering how a school or district gets an A – they are graded on a point system based on % meeting high standards, % making learning gains and adequate progress of lowest 25%. You can search for your school’s points here under school report card

  8. gmemom says:

    How exactly does crow taste?

    You must be dying that Imagine School at Town Center EARNED an A! Well done Mr. Cunningham and your fellow teachers!!!

  9. epic fail says:

    Is everyone done with these useless FCATs??? Get rid of them and TEACH OUR CHILDREN HOW TO LEARN!!!!! They spend 12 freaking years preparing for these tests and then they end up in my office looking for a job and they have no learning capability AT ALL. Everyone who supports the FCAT is letting our children down and depriving them of a real education.

  10. Devrie says:

    What made NoName so upset about this article?

  11. Citizen says:

    So much for impartial reporting of the news. Even when Imagine scores an “A” you still have to somehow try to insult the school. Imagine does all the same “rigorous” testing that the district schools require so that “A” was completely earned by all the students, teachers and staff. Way to go!!!

    You also keep mentioning charter schools are funded by taxdollars – isn’t this about educating our kids? Shouldn’t the money set per child follow that child to whatever school they attend? Yes, charter schools get per pupil funding just like the district schools b/c charter schools are a tuition free public school as well. The difference is charter schools receive less money per child than the district schools. Oh and charter schools don’t get taxpayer money to build our buildings/facilities – the school funds that 100% not relying on any tax money.

    Keep badmouthing the charter schools – it’s not working as people are flocking to Imagine and are waiting to get in

  12. Darren May says:

    Since Bob K brought it up. Imagine School at Town Center does have the lowest percentage of any Elementary School receiving free lunch in the county at 38%. I do give them a thumbs up though for improving their scores so dramatically. However, OKES made enough points for an “A” but received a “B” because they only had 48% of students in the bottom quartile make learning gains in reading and they needed 50%. Bunnell Elementary was four percentage points from an A overall and Wadsworth was two percentage points from an A.

    If you average the points earned for the district schools, without charter schools included, Flagler County got a score of 542.7 which is an A grade according to the state guidelines. Good job Flagler County Schools teachers and staff.

  13. Bob K says:

    My daughters have been going to Imagine since day one. Yes, it was a little bumpy the first year, but the administration was quick to fill the pot holes. With dedicated staff like Ms. O’Grady and Mr. Cunningham, and their emphasis on values in addition to academics, I believe the school will be a forced to be reckoned with. I would challenge Pierre to actually go visit the school and meet the staff and students, and then write an article based on experience, rather than preconceived notions, an agenda favoring the “traditional” schools, and lack of knowledge.

  14. gmemom says:

    Imagine did not get approved for free lunches until Jan. or Feb., so expect those numbers to go up.

    Still lots of room for growth at ISTC, but they are on the right track!!! Congrats to all of Flagler County!

  15. Austin Keith says:

    Does anyone know what Matanzas got? Its not listed on the department of education’s website.

  16. Pierre Tristam says:

    Austin, high school grades won’t be released until late November or early December.

  17. Fuzzy Wuzzy says:

    Well, the new principal at Old King’s did it again: She managed to bring the school’s rating from an A to a B.

    She bungled at Flagler Palm Coast H.S. as well, bringing down its rating during her tenure there.

    Way to go, principal!

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