Published: Jan 04, 2012 7:30 PM EST
Updated: Jan 04, 2012 10:22 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida high schools have raised their grades again.

State education officials announced Wednesday that 78 percent received an A or B in 2011. That compares to 71 percent the previous year.

Just six high schools got an F compared to 11 in 2010.  One of those schools is Everglades City School in Collier County.

High school grades were based entirely on scores from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test - or FCAT - until 2010. That's when other factors were added, including graduation rates and participation in advanced classes.

High school grades increased sharply under the new system in 2010. While that trend continued in 2011, it could end this year because the state has made it harder to pass the FCAT.

Schools that received an A or improve by a letter grade will receive cash awards of $70 per student. 

In Lee County, most high schools received an A or B letter grade.  The results show that 87% of high schools earned an “A” or “B” grade as compared to the statewide average of 78%.

In fact, when looking at the “raw scores” earned, 13 of the high schools graded earned enough points to receive an “A” grade. The reason only six of the 13 were awarded an “A” grade is because the high school grading system has two specific rules regarding the performance of the lowest 25% in reading and the at-risk graduation rates.  If either percent falls below the required level, then a high school cannot earn an “A” even though they have earned enough total points. 

“When looking at the total points earned by our high schools, it’s very encouraging news to see 13 schools worthy of an ‘A’ grade,” said Dr. Joseph Burke, Superintendent of Schools. “We realize there is work to be done for the seven schools that were dropped from their ‘A’ grade – and we started addressing those areas well before the grades were released, especially high school reading.”

To view all the results: