State report card for local schools
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Jul. 26, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- With just weeks until the start of school, the state education department is handing out its report card on local schools.
37% of schools earned an "A" rating.
That's compared to just 29% statewide.
But across the state, grades for local schools are down this year after tougher standards went into place.
Out of the 100 schools in florida that got an "F", three of them are in Lee County.
Franklin Park Elementary School is one of them.
People who live near the school are not surprised but still frustrated.
Evelyn Smith said "this school here is going downhill and a lot of people pull their kids out of there... by no means do I want them to go there."
Councilman lLevon Simms who lives in the same neighborhood says its critical that the school board does something - fast!
He points out that "if you don't put special programs in inner city schools...they aren't going to improve."
Half the schools in Lee County are getting a ranking of 'C' , "D" or "F".
The school district points out that despite the low grades what really counts is how the students are trending.
In fact, their F-cat scores are up, year over year, even at Franklin Park.
Assistant Superintendent Greg Adkins said "we've actually been able to show that those kids that are in our schools for a long period of time do quite well ,then students that come in and come out."
What makes the situation look worse is that the new standards are a lot higher to get a better school grade, but the district believes it will get there.
Adkins points out that "increasing standards is a good thing... because our kids now have to compete globally... but it takes a while to adjust to the difficulty of the exams and the standards."
The district said there isn't going to be any radical changes or principals relived of their duty.
They are instead going to drill down over the next month and look at how the students are doing.
They want to determine what are the weaknesses and develop a strategy to continue and bring up their scores.