Florida’s most troubled elementary schools

high school classroom, school, education
Pixabay photo.

This isn’t good school news, but it’s what families and the public should know about.

The Florida Department of Education posts a list each year of what’s called the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools.

The list for 2018-19 shows that Hillsborough County has the highest number –43 — of the lowest-performing schools.

The other schools with the largest numbers are Duval, Broward, Polk, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Miami-Dade, Escambia, Manatee and Marion, according to the state’s data.

The agency listed those schools based on three-year averages for achievement on state exams in English language arts, and increases in exam scores over those years. The results are crucial because they show how well students are doing in reading and writing — the building blocks that prepare students for higher-level reading and comprehension in middle and high schools.

The 300 schools usually have high poverty student populations, according to the data, and test scores nationwide have shown that low-income students often do worse on state exams compared to affluent peers.

You can see a spreadsheet of the lowest performing elementary schools by going on the Florida Department of Education’s website and searching for: 2018-19 Lowest 300 Performing Elementary Schools.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.


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