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FCPCS Honors 2019 Champions at State Conference

PHOTO: Winners of 2019 Florida Charter School Champions Awards, Presented by the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS).

ORLANDO, Fla., (November 15, 2019) -- The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) has honored winners of its 2019 Florida Charter School Champions Awards, which were presented at the recent Florida Charter School Conference in Orlando.

For the eighth consecutive year, FCPCS received nominations in several categories, including charter school teachers, charter school leaders, charter school governing board members and charter school preferred partners.  A new category, “Charter School Innovators” was added for 2019.  Winners received their awards at an evening awards reception and presentation.

Winners of Champions Awards for charter school teachers were Alan Androski of James Madison Preparatory High School in Madison, Fla., Lorna Cohen of Countryside Montessori Charter School in Land O’Lakes, Jennifer Gay of Hope Charter School in Ocoee and Karima Grayson of SunEd High School in Margate.

Champions Award winners in the category of charter school leaders were Kim Guilarte-Gil, Principal of Somerset Academy South Miami, Alan Hall, CEO and Principal of San Jose Schools in Jacksonville, Victoria Laurrari, Principal of Pinecrest Academy North in Miami, Carla Lovett, CEO of Palm Bay Education Group in Panama City, Dee-ette Naukana, Principal of SunFire High School in Fort Lauderdale, Corey Oliver, Principal of Somerset Jefferson K-12 in Monticello and Allen Quain, Principal of Hope Charter School in Ocoee.

Champions Awards for charter school governing board members were presented to David R. Kraner, President of the Board of Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto and Brent Appy, Treasurer of Burns Science and Technology Charter School in Oak Hill.

Winning Champions Awards in the new category of “charter school innovators” were Raquel Espinosa, valued consultant to FCPCS, Dana Greatrex, Community Coordinator for Burns Science and Technology Charter School in Oak Hill, Marianne Keller, Board Chair of Building Hope in Washington, D.C., Julio Robaina, founder of the City of Hialeah Educational Academy, and Henry Rose, Chair of Parents for Charter Schools.

Awards were given to two preferred vendor partners of Florida charter schools. The two Preferred Partner Award winners were E-Rate Advantage and Curriculum Associates.

Finally, FCPCS President Robert Haag presented a special Champions Award to Becky Katz for “her exemplary service and support to the Florida Consortium and all of our member schools.”  Becky Katz is the longtime Director of Operations and Marketing for FCPCS.

About the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary as an organization driving the charter school movement in Florida, the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) is the leading charter school membership association in the state, with a membership of nearly 75 percent of all operating charter schools.  Since its inception in 1999, FCPCS has been dedicated to creating a national model of high quality, accredited public charter schools that are student-centered and performance-driven.  FCPCS provides a wide array of technical support, mentoring, training, networking, and purchasing services to its membership, as well as serving as an advocate for all Florida public charter schools.

 

U.S. Department of Education Honors Four Member Schools of the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS)

FCPCS Congratulates its Member Schools Honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C., (October 7, 2019) -- Four member schools of the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019 by the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Three of the award-winning schools are located in Miami.  They are Mater Academy East Charter Middle School, Mater Academy East Elementary Charter School and Pinecrest Academy (North Campus).  The fourth school is Choices in Learning Elementary Charter School in Winter Springs, Fla.

The four Florida charter schools were among 362 public and private schools recognized for their overall academic performance or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

"The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools congratulates the winning schools,” said Robert Haag, President of FCPCS.  “We are proud of their accomplishments and of their membership in FCPCS.”

Each winning school receives a flag that identifies that school as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2019.  According to the U.S. Department of Education, the flags “affirm the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.”

The winning schools are:

  • Mater Academy East Charter Middle School, Miami, offers first-class academic programs to enable students to become productive citizens who are prepared to address the challenges of the twenty-first century.
  • Mater Academy East Elementary Charter School, Miami, provides a loving, caring, and supportive educational environment that furthers a philosophy of respect and high expectations for all students, parents, teachers and staff.  The school's mission is to accomplish this by providing students with the necessary skills to reach their highest potential. 
  • Pinecrest Academy (North Campus), Miami, provides a challenging curriculum where academic excellence, character development, and individual growth are nurtured in a safe environment that involves the active participation of students, teachers, parents and community members. 
  • Choices in Learning Elementary Charter School, Winter Springs.  It is the mission of Choices in Learning Elementary Charter School to inspire and educate lifelong learners through a cooperative learning community. 

About the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary as an organization driving the charter school movement in Florida, the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) is the leading charter school membership association in the state, with a membership of nearly 75 percent of all operating charter schools.  Since its inception in 1999, FCPCS has been dedicated to creating a national model of high quality, accredited public charter schools that are student-centered and performance-driven.  FCPCS provides a wide array of technical support, mentoring, training, networking, and purchasing services to its membership, as well as serving as an advocate for all Florida public charter schools.

 

2019 Florida Charter School Champions of the Year Awards Announced;

New Award Added for Florida Charter School “Champion Innovator”

Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) Drives Statewide Awards Program to Honor Multiple Charter School Champions of the Year

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., (Sept. 26, 2019) – As the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) celebrates its 20th Anniversary as an organization leading the charter school movement in Florida, FCPCS is accepting nominations for its statewide 2019 Florida Charter School Champions of the Year Awards.  This year’s program includes a first-ever award category for a Florida Charter School “Champion Innovator.”

For the eighth consecutive year, FCPCS is encouraging member schools and supporters to nominate individuals working in and for charter schools in the following categories: Champion School Leader, Champion Teacher, Champion School Board Member, Champion Parent, Champion Innovator and Champion Preferred Partner.  This year’s honorees will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 at an awards event held as part of the Florida Charter School Conference in Orlando.

Designated winners must be present on Oct. 30 at the Charter School Champions Awards event.  The nominators of the winners will be notified in advance.

“The Florida Charter School Champions of the Year Awards recognize exceptional individuals and companies who represent the very best aspects of the charter school movement,” said FCPCS President Robert Haag.  “The awards ceremony is a huge celebration of their achievements and success.”

About the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary as an organization driving the charter school movement in Florida, the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) is the leading charter school membership association in the state, with a membership of nearly 75 percent of all operating charter schools.  Since its inception in 1999, FCPCS has been dedicated to creating a national model of high quality, accredited public charter schools that are student-centered and performance-driven.  FCPCS provides a wide array of technical support, mentoring, training, networking, and purchasing services to its membership, as well as serving as an advocate for all Florida public charter schools.

 

Florida Makes Monumental Improvement in School Grades

Over 2,000 schools earn “A” and “B” grades

Re-posted from a Florida Department of Education News Release

Tallahassee, Fla., July 11, 2019 – Today, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) issued 2018-19 school and district grades, marking the 20th anniversary of school grades. Statewide leaders congratulated students and thanked educators for their role in increasing the percentage of schools earning an “A” or “B” grade to 63 percent and decreasing the number of “F” schools to just 15.

Key highlights include:

  • The number of “A” schools in Florida continues to rise with 1,172 schools earning an “A” in 2018-19 compared to 1,043 in 2017-18. The percentage of schools earning an “A” increased to 36 percent, up from 31 percent in 2017-18.
  • Over half (51 percent) of Florida’s charter schools earned an “A” in 2018-19, compared to 32 percent of traditional public schools.
  • Seventy-four percent of charter schools earned an “A” or “B” this year, compared to 61 percent of traditional public schools.

Governor Ron DeSantis said, “It is a great day for education in Florida and today’s announcement shows we are on a successful trajectory. We are resolute in our continued efforts to ensure that Florida students have the chance to receive a world-class education regardless of their circumstance. The ultimate gift we can give future generations is the ability to achieve their life’s ambitions. I appreciate our state’s hard-working educators who made it possible and applaud our students on a job well done.”   

Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said, “Education is the means by which we free children from the shackles of ignorance. A community has a right to have key insights into its schools and school grades. Meeting that goal is essential for any community to truly provide future generations the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. We are pleased to share this spectacular news and to reiterate our commitment to ensuring Florida has the #1 education system in the nation.”

The Florida Department of Education calculates school grades annually based on up to 11 components, including student achievement and learning gains on statewide, standardized assessments and high school graduation rate. School grades provide parents and the general public an easily understandable way to measure the performance of a school and understand how well each school is serving its students.

School grades are a vital component of Florida’s accountability system. They not only enable parents to make informed decisions, they provide the State Board of Education with data that drives reforms at perpetually low-performing schools. Florida statute prescribes the steps districts must take when one or more schools earn a “D” or “F.” These policies focus on research-validated improvement and have gotten increasingly stringent in recent years. Commissioner Corcoran and the State Board of Education members take seriously their responsibility to Florida’s students and have demanded swift, positive action in failing schools on behalf of the students whose futures depend on it.

Low-Performing Schools

Thanks in large part to FDOE’s rigorous monitoring of low-performing schools and the State Board of Education’s commitment to holding school boards and school districts accountable, there has been a substantial improvement in the performance of schools that have been under state-mandated monitoring.

  • Eighty-one percent of schools graded “F” in 2017-18 improved their grade in 2018-19 by one or more letter grade (21 of 26 schools).
  • Seventy-seven percent of schools that earned a “D” or “F” grade in 2017-18 improved by at least one letter grade in 2018-19 (165 schools).
  • Sixty-three percent of schools in the second or third year of implementing their turnaround plan improved their letter grade (22 schools).
  • The number of “D” or “F” schools has declined 70 percent since 2015, and the number of “F” schools has declined 93 percent since 2015.

In addition to school grades, the department also calculates district grades annually based on the same criteria.

  • Twenty-four districts are now graded “A” in Florida, and for the second year in a row, there are no districts graded “D” or “F.”
  • Fifty-four of Florida’s 67 school districts are graded “A” or “B.”
  • Five districts improved their district grade from a “B” in 2017-18 to an “A” in 2018-19.
  • Three districts improved their district grade from a “C” in 2017-18 to a “B” in 2018-19.

State leaders applauded the improvement in school grades:

State Board of Education Chair Marva Johnson said, “For one student to spend even a single day in a failing school is unacceptable. That is why, as a Board, we rely on the concrete evidence that our accountability system provides to make student-centered policy decisions. I express my sincere appreciation for the teachers and parents whose unconditional support enables our students to thrive.”

Committee on Education Chair Sen. Manny Diaz said, “School grades are an important measure of quality, and today’s announcement demonstrates for the public that education in Florida is on a positive trajectory. Florida’s accountability system is the most transparent in the nation, and I am tremendously proud of the improvements that have been made as a result of it. I am honored to celebrate our state’s hard-working teachers and students for these outcomes.”

Education Committee Chair Rep. Jennifer Sullivan said, “This is wonderful news for our public schools and shows that high expectations combined with quality instruction pays off. With these results, Florida parents can have confidence that their children are receiving the world-class education they deserve. To our students, congratulations on a job well done, and thank you for representing us so well.”

For more information about school grades, visit School GradesThe department continues to accept feedback on Florida’s education reports portal, EduData (http://edudata.fldoe.org), where these data will be featured in August.

 

Commissioner Corcoran Commends Students and Teachers for Outstanding Performance

Shorter, later assessment window changes allow for more student learning time

Re-posted from a Florida Department of Education News Release

Tallahassee, Fla., June 28, 2019 – Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced improved state assessment results and highlighted the later, shorter spring testing window that enabled students to spend more time in the classroom learning and teachers more time teaching.

For the first time this spring, the administration of statewide assessments followed the requirements outlined in House Bill 7069 from the 2017 legislative session, which called for testing later in the school year over fewer days to maximize student learning. Specifically, compared to the school year prior to the passage of the law (2016-17):

  • The spring testing window opened 32 calendar days later, with the writing portion of the Florida Standards Assessment English language arts (FSA ELA) assessment moving from February 27 in 2017 to April 1 this year.
  • Additionally, the spring testing window for the remainder of the FSA ELA and mathematics, the statewide science assessment, and the statewide end-of-course (EOC) assessments shifted back three weeks, beginning May 1 in 2019, compared to April 10 in 2017.
  • Overall the amount of time during the assessment window dramatically decreased by four weeks this spring compared to 2017, with an additional 20 school days devoted to instruction rather than testing.
  • Adjusting the assessment window resulted in students dedicating significantly more time to the part of education that matters most, invaluable classroom instruction. 
  • Testing is now closely aligned to the end of the school year, maximizing the amount of instructional days before the start of assessments and minimizing time after. 

Commissioner Corcoran said, “High-quality education is a basic right for all students that has an undeniable connection to freedom. Developing lifelong learners helps ensure students have the confidence to pursue their career and life aspirations, knowing they are well equipped to overcome any of life’s challenges. Accountability is key because it provides a routine, uniform measurement that drives change where inequity is identified. As leaders, we must balance the benefits of this information with the need to protect our core function. These results prove that we have moved in the right direction, and I am immensely proud of our students.”

Commissioner Corcoran also expressed his appreciation for our state’s educators, saying, “Florida’s teachers are central to ensuring students develop a strong educational foundation that can be built upon each year. Their endless commitment to preparing future generations is awe-inspiring, and they deserve a great deal of credit for their role in this historic announcement.”   

Below are state-level highlights of Florida’s 2019 assessments.

Statewide Highlights for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics

Compared to 2018, a higher percentage of students passed the 2019 statewide, standardized English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments as highlighted below.

  • In grades 3-10, the percentage of students who passed (Level 3 or higher) the English Language Arts assessment increased by 1 percentage point. Below are highlights for individual grade levels.
  • Grade 6 increased by 3 percentage points.
  • Grades 4 and 9 increased by 2 percentage points.
  • Grades 3, 5 and 7 increased by 1 percentage point.
  • In English Language Arts, charter school performance increased 3 percentage points in grades 3-5 and 1 percentage point overall.
  • In grades 3-8, the percentage of students passing the Florida Standards Assessments in Mathematics and end-of-course assessments increased by 1 percentage point. Below are highlights for individual grade levels.
  • Grade 6 increased by 3 percentage points.
  • Grades 4 and 8 increased by 2 percentage points.
  • Grade 7 increased by 1 percentage point. 
  • In grades 6-8, charter school performance in Mathematics (Florida Standards Assessments and end-of-course assessments) increased by 2 percentage points.
  • The percentage of students passing the statewide end-of-course assessment in Geometry increased by 1 percentage point.
  • Charter school performance increased by 3 percentage points on the statewide Geometry assessment and by 1 percentage point on the statewide Algebra 1 assessment.

Statewide Highlights for Science and Social Studies

Compared to 2018, a higher percentage of Florida students passed the statewide, standardized Biology 1 and U.S. History assessments.

  • The percentage of students passing the statewide Biology 1 assessment increased 2 percentage points.
  • The percentage of students passing the statewide U.S. History assessment went up by 1 percentage point. 
  • Charter school performance increased by 2 percentage points on the statewide Biology 1 and U.S. History assessments and by 1 percentage point on the Civics assessment.

Closing the Achievement Gap and Subgroup Increases

For nearly 20 years, Florida has worked diligently to close the achievement gap. Every student is entitled to an education that prepares them for lifelong success and to tackle life’s challenges. Students today are excelling at rates that far exceed those of two decades ago. With more rigorous standards, higher expectations and high-quality instruction, students of all subgroups have responded with increased achievement.

For example, in 2001 on grades 3-10 FCAT Reading, 59% of white students scored Level 3 and above and 26% of African American students scored Level 3 and above (gap of 33 points). In 2019, on grades 3-10 FSA ELA, 67% of white students scored Level 3 and above and 38% of African American students scored Level 3 and above (gap of 29 points). And in 2001, on grades 3-10 FCAT Reading, 59% of white students scored Level 3 and above and 35% of Hispanic students scored Level 3 and above (gap of 24 points). In 2019, on grades 3-10 FSA ELA, 67% of white students scored Level 3 and above and 52% of Hispanic students scored Level 3 and above (gap of 15 points).

The achievement gap in grades 6-8 English Language Arts, grades 3-8 Mathematics, Geometry, Biology 1, U.S. History and Civics narrowed between 2018 and 2019, and subgroup performance increased across multiple subject areas.

  • In grades 3-10, English Language Arts performance increased by 2 percentage points for white students, and by 1 percentage point for African American students, Hispanic students and students with disabilities.
  • African American students, white students, economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and English language learners all decreased the percentage scoring at the lowest level in English Language Arts. 
  • In grades 6-8, the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students narrowed by 2 percentage points, while the achievement gap between African American and white students narrowed by 1 percentage point in English Language Arts.
  • The percentage of Hispanic students and students with disabilities in grades 3-8 passing the Mathematics assessments (Florida Standards Assessments and end-of-course assessments) increased by 2 percentage points, while African American students, white students, and English language learners each increased performance by 1 percentage point. The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white counterparts narrowed by 1 percentage point.    
  • In Mathematics, the achievement gap between African American and white students and between Hispanic and white students in grades 3-5 narrowed by 1 percentage point.
  • In Geometry, African American students increased the percentage passing by 2 percentage points, narrowing the achievement gap with their white counterparts. Additionally, students with disabilities increased their performance by 1 percentage point.
  • African American students, Hispanic students, English language learners, and students with disabilities all decreased the percentage scoring at the lowest level in Geometry.
  • All subgroups increased performance in Biology 1. African American students increased by 3 percentage points, Hispanic students and students with disabilities increased by 2 percentage points, and white students, economically disadvantaged students and English language learners increased by 1 percentage point.
  • In Biology 1, the achievement gap between African American and white students narrowed by 2 percentage points and the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students narrowed by 1 percentage point.
  • In U.S. History, African American students increased the percentage passing by 3 percentage points, Hispanic students increased by 2 percentage points, and white students increased by 1 percentage point, narrowing the achievement gap between African American and white students by 2 percentage points and Hispanic and white students by 1 percentage point.
  • Also in U.S. History, the percentage of students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students passing the assessment went up.
  • In Civics, the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students narrowed by 2 percentage points, as Hispanic performance increased while the performance of their white counterparts remained the same. Students with disabilities and English language learners also increased the percentage of students passing the Civics assessment by 2 percentage points.

To view the statewide and district-level results, visit 2019 Assessment Results.

 
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