The recently released Florida Standards Assessment revealed that many schools in Hillsborough County experienced a jump in English Language Arts and math scores. To what do they attribute their success?
At Edison Elementary, which showed a 27-point increase in 4th grade math, the school took advantage of an exceptional combination of a strong math coach who incorporated weekly planning sessions with the 4th grade math team after taking a long, hard look at the data from the previous year. According to Principal Marc Gaillard, “My teachers were very open to constructive observation by our math coach and accepted a serious buy-in as team players.”
At the middle school level, Franklin Boy’s Preparatory Academy increased 22 points in their 7th grade ELA score. John Haley, Principal, was very matter-of-fact about the gains. “There was no miracle or magic formula, just hard work by our 7th grade ELA team. The team worked on understanding what the students needed to know to master the standards.” In addition, Haley attributed Franklin’s gains to the school’s efforts to get students to a point where they became a part of the collaboration and focus of the culture of the school, which in turn had a positive effect on the performance on the FSA. Haley also was excited about the large gains made by last year’s 7th grade students on the 8th grade ELA assessments (from a 27 to 54).
Ken Hart, Principal of Alonso High School, attributed their 36-point increase in Algebra 1 scores to the fact that they purposely spread out the classes and put the students in front of five very talented teachers. “Our teachers had a common planning time during lunch and were able to have regular collaboration that allowed them to review results of common assessments and to compare and share strategies that worked well for particular standards.” Teachers at Alonso also provided extra help in the form of lunchtime tutoring and opportunity for afterschool supplemental enrichment in math. Hart said, “Above all, our teachers exhibited high expectations for the EOC’s and rigorous standards across all five of the classrooms.”
According to the FLDOE, more students in Florida passed the statewide, standardized English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments. Of even more relevance are the scores that show that Florida is closing the Achievement Gap. As HCPS focuses on providing the appropriate education suited to students’ needs and aimed at success for each and every child, gaps in scores between African American, Hispanic, and white students have continued to narrow, especially numbers of students across the board who passed the statewide assessments or end-of-course assessments (EOC).
Parent can access their children’s test scores by contacting the school office. To view statewide and district-level results, go to http://fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/k-12-student-assessment/results/2017.stml. For a copy of “Understanding Florida Standards Assessments Reports 2017” visit http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5662/urlt/UndFSAReports17.pdf.