Many school districts around the state saw drops in their district grade ratings and overall rankings because of higher standards set by FDOE. However, Seminole County not only maintained its “A” rating – one that hasn’t wavered since 1999 – but cracked the top five in district rankings. Seminole ranked 7th in 2010-11.
“We could not be more proud of our improved ranking especially in light of the budgetary challenges we faced this past school year,” said Seminole School Board Chairman Tina Calderone. “We aren’t finished. We’re #4, and we’re gaining. But we will need the support of our entire community to reach the top.”
New Seminole Schools Superintendent Walt Griffin praised the combined efforts of the district’s board, school administrators, teachers and staff for the improved ranking.
“Seminole County Public Schools has again shown that hard work by committed professionals and innovative approaches result in superior educational services,” Griffin said. “However, we can only stretch the fiscal rubber band so far before it breaks. Our funding issues must be addressed if we are to succeed in getting to be #1.”
The state rankings are based on a complex formula that uses each district’s total points derived from FCAT scores. Points are awarded based on the percentage of students who score at or above grade level on FCAT and make annual learning gains; those who score at or above level 3 on reading, math and science; those who score at or above level 4 on the FCAT writing essay, and for learning gains in reading and math among the lowest quartile.
Seminole County’s 4th-place ranking was the highest among school districts in Central Florida. Brevard County was next closest at 8th, Orange County ranked 26th, Lake ranked 31st, Osceola County ranked 33rd, and Volusia County ranked 38th.
St. Johns County, Gilchrist County and Sarasota County were ranked 1st through 3rd.