State assessments reveal district still behind

The Florida Department of Education yesterday released the state assessment grades for the school districts. Santa Rosa County sent out a letter touting its successes.

No announcement came from the Escambia County School District. Nothing. Nada. Crickets on Pace Boulevard and at the Hall Center.

Less than half of Escambia students are proficient in English Language Arts, and Math. They lag behind state averages in Eighth Grade Science, Biology and Social Studies- which makes one wonder how the district’s graduation rates continue to rise.

But first the good news:

Santa Rosa County

“We would like to celebrate another outstanding year of state testing results, securing our place as a top academically performing school district. The Santa Rosa School District team of students, parents, teachers, administrators, support staff, district staff, and all of our educational partners have risen to the occasion.

Asst. Superintendent Bill Emerson

In English Language Arts, the proficiency rates for all grade levels rank between 3rd and 5th highest among Florida school districts.

In Mathematics, all grade levels except one, and both Algebra and Geometry End of Course Exams had proficiency rates ranking between 3rd and 7th highest among Florida School Districts.

In Science, the proficiency rates for 5th grade, 8th grade, and the Biology End of Course Exam were all ranked in the top 5 highest among Florida districts.

In Social Studies the US History and Civics End of Course Exam proficiency rates ranked in the top 7 highest among Florida districts.

Escambia County

In English Language Arts, Escambia students, grades 3-10, trail the state average, though slightly less than last year. Of the state’s 67 districts, only 18 have lower percentages of students proficient in language arts.

It’s hard to compete in the workplace when half of your students have trouble reading and writing.

English Language Arts20182019+/-
Grades 3-10: Statewide54%55%1%
Grades 3-10: Escambia47%49%2%
Grades 3-10: Gap-7%-6%

In Math, Escambia students are 11 percentage points behind the state average. Only eight districts have lower percentages. Hard to fill cybersecurity jobs when half of the students can’t do math.

Grades 3-8: Statewide60%61%1%
Grades 3-8: Escambia49%50%1%
Grades 3-8: Gap-11%-11%

Science is a bright spot at the elementary level. Grade 8 percentages trail state average, as do the Biology percentages

Grade 5: Statewide55%53%-2%
Grade 5: Escambia55%55%0
Grade 5: Gap0+2%
Grades 8: Statewide52%51%-1%
Grades 8: Escambia45%42%-3%
Grades 8: Gap-7%-9%
Grades 6-12: Statewide65%67%2%
Grades 6-12: Escambia58%58%0%
Grades 6-12: Gap-7%-9%

In Social Studies, Escambia trails state averages by double digits – which may explain Mike Hill’s election in 2018. Only four districts in Florida had lower percentages.

Social Studies20182019+/-
Grades 4-12: Statewide71%71%0%
Grades 4-12: Escambia52%53%1%
Grades 4-12: Gap-19%-18%