Florida released its grades for school districts. Here’s how Miami-Dade and Broward did

Miami-Dade County Public Schools earned an A rating for the 2022-23 school year, marking the fourth time in a row it gets the top score, excluding the year it did not receive a grade because of the pandemic, according to school grades released Thursday by the Florida Department of Education.

Broward County Public Schools earned a B from the state — the sixth time the district has received the ranking. It missed the A rating by five percentage points.

To earn an A rating, districts must score 68% of possible points or greater, according to the state. Miami-Dade public schools got 69% of the total points possible, while Broward County schools earned 63%, data show.

The annual ratings measure student performance from the start of the school year through the end of the academic year and are calculated based on up to seven components, including proficiency, achievement on standardized tests and high school graduation rates.

In previous years, learning gains were included in the calculation. But because there is only one year of Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) results, those outcomes were not included in the school grades calculation. The school grades calculation for the 2023-24 year will include learning gains, the department said.

Read more: Find Florida Department of Education’s grades for county school districts here

During a news conference Tuesday at the school district, Miami-Dade Superintendent Jose Dotres touted the district’s scores and applauded efforts made by administrators, educators and students.

He said the scores validate the district’s hashtag — #YourBestChoiceMDCPS — while also acknowledging room for improvement.

Miami-Dade, Broward schools see fewer A schools

About 42% of district schools, or 201 campuses, earned an A rating — 24 fewer than the 2021-22 school year, records show. In 2021-22, 225 schools, or 54% — earned an A rating this year, state metrics show

Overall, the district for the 2022-23 year also received 124 Bs, 123 Cs, 8 Ds and one F, data show. In 2021-22, the district received just one D and one F, according to state records. Eleven schools reported an incomplete, which may be because the school late-reported the results or did not meet the 95% testing criteria, district officials said.

Dotres said that it’s possible that some schools received a lower grade compared to previous years because of the updated way the state measures the grades.

This was the first time school grades were based predominantly on proficiency, whereas prior accountability systems included other factors, such as learning gains. Nevertheless, he added, “We are paying attention to the differences (in grades) and different elements required in the more rigorous standards coming before us.”

Officials are committed to providing the “most relevant and the most specific professional development” for educators to best deliver instruction based on the state’s new standards, he added.

This year, Broward public schools earned 84 As, meaning about 28% of the total 297 public schools in Broward scored an A. That’s a drop from the 104 As in 2021-22.

Overall, the district also received 61 Bs, 123 Cs, 20 Ds, one F and eight incompletes this year, data shows.

In comparison, in 2021-22 the school district got 70 Bs, 86 Cs, nine Ds, and three Fs, as well as 24 incompletes.

Similar to Miami-Dade, incomplete grades could mean the school late-reported the results or did not meet the 95% testing criteria, officials said.

In Broward, the School Board is longing for the top grade so much that when it hired Licata as the new superintendent this summer, board members offered him a $10,000 performance bonus on top of his $350,000 annual salary if he gets and maintains an A-rating from the state.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon, Broward Superintendent Peter Licata said, “This is the starting point for Broward County Public Schools under the new state standards as it clearly marks the path of what we need to achieve to become an ‘A’ District.”