Florida school grades released this week showed improvement across the state for schools managed by Charter Schools USA (CSUSA). Schools are given a grade of an A, B, C, D or F based primarily upon student achievement data from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) 2.0, end-of-course (EOC) assessments, and the Florida Alternate Assessment (FAA), which is administered to cognitively disabled students for whom the FCAT 2.0 is not an appropriate assessment.
The CSUSA network of schools exceeded Florida’s average proficiency and rate of growth in reading, math, science and writing for 2013-2014. As a complete network CSUSA’s Florida schools exceeded the net growth of every district in which they operate. Additionally, CSUSA’s net proficiency growth in reading, math, writing and science is almost 10 times higher than the state of Florida. “Our model is working and the amazing efforts by our professional educators at CSUSA are delivering results for our students,” said Chief Academic Officer Sherry Hage. “While today’s results are strong, our work will never be finished and we will continually seek ways to improve student achievements.”
The CSUSA network as a whole showed extremely strong results and second year schools—a particular focus—did particularly well this year. In writing, they had an average 23 percent increase from 2013 to 2014. Every second year school exceeded their district’s rate of growth in math and writing. “Over time, we’ve proven that once our model is implemented with fidelity, students experience tremendous growth,” said Hage. “Many of our students are several grade levels behind when they enroll and in our experience it takes approximately three years in our system to catch up and exceed grade level expectations.”
According to the Florida Department of Education: School grades communicate to the public how well a school is performing relative to state standards. The assessment-based components of all school grades are calculated based on student achievement in reading, math, writing, and science, annual learning gains for each student, and the progress of the lowest quartile of students.