Broward News

Broward County Has Three of Florida's Eight Lowest-Scoring Middle Schools

​The Sun Sentinel had a cheerful story today about the state's new education rankings -- "Broward Schools land at top of state rankings," read the online headline of the story, which notes that the county has three high schools in the top 20.

But what that story omits is that the county is also home to some of the state's worst-ranked schools: Of 583 Florida middle schools, for example, the county is home to numbers 576, 581, and 583. Broward Community Charter Middle School had the lowest standardized test scores in the state in the 2010-11 school year and was the only school on the list to receive a failing grade two years in a row.

In addition, Broward's Parkway Academy was the third-lowest-ranking high school out of 404 that were ranked -- its overall rating went from a D to an F last year. While the high school rating system is slightly more complex, the rubric for elementary and middle schools is based entirely on standardized test scores, a system that's long been criticized as a woefully incomplete analysis of the situation.

Florida Education Associate President Andy Ford released a statement yesterday saying Gov. Rick Scott was misusing the test scores.

"The FCAT was designed as a diagnostic tool to help teachers and parents improve student performance by showing a student's area of weakness. Instead, it has been the only measure the governor and the DOE use to measure our schools," he wrote. "Schools just can't be rated like shampoos. Worst of all is using these scores not just to rate but to rank... Instead of working with educators to improve every Florida public school, Rick Scott wants to pit schools against each other."

The rating system for elementary and middle schools is based entirely on student scores and improvement on the FCAT and FCAT 2.0 tests, the state's standardized tests that began implementation in 1998. High school ratings are based half on FCAT scores and half on factors like graduation rate and college readiness.

We've asked for comment from numerous schools on the list and will update if they respond, but until then, here are the county's highest- and lowest-ranking schools.

3: Imagine Charter School at Weston
5: Florida Intercultural Academy
30: Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School
(Broward has 38 of the 359 schools in the top 20 percent)
1,767: Plantation Elementary School
1,770: Kidz Choice Charter School
1,776: Charter School of Excellence at Riverland
1,786: Imagine Charter Elementary School at North Lauderdale
(Broward has 15 of the 180 schools in the bottom 10 percent)

14: City of Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School
24: Falcon Cove Middle School
29: Somerset Academy Middle School, Miramar campus
(Broward has ten of the 117 schools in the top 20 percent.)
563: Lauderhill Middle School
576: Imagine Charter Middle School at North Lauderdale
583: Broward Community Charter Middle School
(Broward has six of the 58 schools in the bottom 10 percent.)

13: Pompano Beach High School
14: Cypress Bay High School
20: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
(Broward has six of the 81 schools in the top 20 percent)
384: Coconut Creek High School
399: Boyd H. Anderson High School
402: Parkway Academy
(Broward has four of the 40 schools in the bottom 10 percent.)

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Rich Abdill