School grades above state average

School grades above state average: 76 percent of Lee high schools get an A or B

Published in Cape Coral Daily Breeze Dec. 18, 2014 issue

Two high schools in Cape Coral sustained their A grades, while the other two schools went from an A to a B for 2014.

Cape Coral High School and Ida Baker High School kept their A grade, which both schools have earned since 2012. Island Coast High School received a B, after earning an A for the first time since 2010. Mariner High School received a school grade of a B, which is the first time since 2010.

According to the School District of Lee County, 76 percent of high schools in Lee County earned an A or B grade, which exceeds the state average of 71 percent. Statistics also show that there are 60 fewer A schools in the state of Florida compared to last year, which includes four high schools in Lee County – Island Coast, Cypress Lake, Mariner and Lee Virtual.

Lee Virtual dropped to a B because only 94 percent of its students tested.

East Lee County High School was one of 55 schools in the state of Florida to have raised a letter grade from a D to a C.

“Even though we improved there, we understand we have a lot of work to do,” Board Member Steve Teuber said. “This board will be looking at changing how we apply resources to East.”

He said the board will look at what resources are necessary for success, giving East further attention and emphasis to improve the letter grade even further.

The high school grades are based on 50 percent assessment performances and the remaining 50 percent is based on such components as graduation rates, ACT and SAT scores and for the first time this year U.S. History End of Course exam.

Teuber said the graduation rate continues to increase for Lee County schools. He said Island Coast High School had an 89 percent graduation rate, Cape Coral High School had an 88 percent graduation rate, Ida Baker High School had a 90 percent graduation rate and Mariner High School had an 86 percent graduation rate.

The dropout rate, on the other hand, Teuber said, stinks.

“The state doubled and we tripled,” he said.

Lee County’s dropout rate went from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent, compared to the state dropout rate of 4.3 percent.

Teuber said if a ninth to 12th grade student moves to Georgia and tells the school district they are moving, that student is taken out of the system. If the school district is not made aware of a student moving out of the school district, they are considered a dropout.

The school grade scores were changed on a state level from the previous year, 2013-2014 for A and B schools. Schools were required to earn 70 additional points to earn or maintain an A grade. In order to earn or maintain a B grade, high schools were required to earn an additional 50 points.

Teuber said the question the district has to look into is did those schools drop a grade because of the extra 70 points they had to earn, or would the school grades have dropped if the bar was not raised.

“I don’t know if it’s indicative to less performance or didn’t perform enough,” he said, adding that he will further look into the state data.

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