FORT MYERS, Fla. - School grades are out, and for the most part, the Southwest Florida school are making the grade.
The 2009-2010 report cards are vital for school funding. Schools earning an "A" or moving up a letter grade are awarded $75 per student.
Lee County's school district earned an overall "A" for a second year in a row. Fifty elementary and middle schools earned top marks, and there wasn't a single "D" or "F" in the district. It's another year of good news for Lindsay Morris, whose little ones go to A-rated Lehigh Acres Elementary.
"They have a great principal, great teachers, and I think that plays a big part of it," Morris said Friday.
But not everyone's celebrating the report card results. Twelve schools in the district dropped at least one letter grade, and high school results have yet to be released. It's a nosedive Superintendent Dr. James Browder thinks is linked to possible FCAT descrepancies. The statewide assessment test is factored in as 50% of a school's grade.
"As I looked at the grades it became painfully obvious that the gain mechanism that we're looking at in the state of Florida needs to be studied and reviewed in order to assure that we're not doing anything that hurts children," Browder said.
Browder says he's proud of the district's overall success, but still remains skeptical of this year's FCAT fiasco. He says unusual deviations in student's gain scores ended up pulling overall school grades down...with an end result of punishing schools and students.
Charlotte and Collier County schools also earned an overall "A" this year.