Published: Jul 11, 2014 5:10 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - More Florida elementary and middle schools earned a preliminary "A'' on their annual school grades.
    
However, the state Department of Education says the number earning an "F'' increased in 2014, as well.
    
Overall, 962 elementary and middle schools earned the state's top grade.
    
This year marks the final year for Florida's current A-to-F grading system, which has been in place since 1999. A new state standardized exam is also being developed.
    
Officials say the new grading system will be more simple and transparent.
    
Under a special provision, no school will drop more than a letter grade this year. The controversial rule was adopted after complaints the current system had become too complicated.

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