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New Tampa Schools Rate Above State, County Performance

Nearly all 11 elementary and middle schools in the New Tampa area received A or B grades in scores released today.

Nearly all elementary and middle schools in the New Tampa area kept their top grades in school ratings despite increased statewide academic standards educators expected would drag down scores and schools’ grades.

Eight schools in the area achieved an A grade in 2012 and kept pace with their grades in 2011 and 2010. One school dropped to a B ranking after achieving grades of A the two years before and one rose from a B grade in 2011 to an A, according to scores released by the Hillsborough County school district.

Only one school, Mort Elementary, had a grade lower than a B and dropped from scores of C the past two years to a D this year.

Schools in the New Tampa area outperformed the overall rankings of elementary and middle schools countywide, with nine of 11, or 81 percent achieving an A grade and 10 of 11 or 90 percent getting an A or B.

Overall about 60 percent of the county’s 256 elementary and middle schools received an A or B and nearly 40 percent received an A, according to a release from the county school district. Grades for high schools will come out in the late fall, the release said.

New Tampa area schools also outperformed the state grading. Statewide, 43 percent of the schools achieved an A, according to the state Department of Education website.

Heritage Elementary was one of 13 elementary schools that improved by a grade, going from a B back to an A the school received in 2010.

Schools this year had to adjust to more rigorous standards the state imposed on the testing and local and state school officials predicted the new rules could lower some scores. It was the fifth time in 10 years the state raised the grading level.

State level education officials said 2012 was a year for schools to adjust to the new standard and the state Board of Education established a policy that no school would fall more than one letter grade this year.

The state has graded schools on a scale of A to f since 1999 and the grades include FCAT scores and assessments at the end of the school year.

Here’s how New Tampa area schools performed in 2012:

  • Bartels Middle School: A
  • Benito Middle School: A
  • Chiles Elementary School: A
  • Clark Elementary School: A
  • Heritage Elementary School: A (up from B in 2011)
  • Hunter’s Green Elementary School: B (down from A in 2011 and 2010)
  • Liberty Middle School: A
  • Mort Elementary School: D (down from C in 2011 and 2010)
  • Pride Elementary School: A
  • Tampa Palms Elementary School: A
  • Turner Elementary School: A

How do you feel about the area's school performance? Let us know in the comments.

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