New ratings: More Manatee schools make an 'A'

MANATEE - One Manatee County public high school - Lakewood Ranch - received an “A” for the 2008-09 school year, according to ratings released today from the Florida Department of Education.

Two other high schools - Braden River and Manatee - each slipped from an “A” to a “B,” while Southeast High School improved its mark from a “D” to a “C.”

Two high schools, Bayshore and Palmetto, were again each given a “D.”

In total, 28 of the 55 schools assessed, including charter schools, received an A, including Samoset Elementary, a Title I school which jumped up to an A this year after posting a C in 2007-08. Ratings show Tara Elementary also jumped from a C to an A.

Of the rest: 14 received a B; 11 received a C; and two received a D. Three alternative schools were ranked as “passing.”

The grades are based on FCAT scores and other performance standards.

“We’ve had some great improvements and have a lot to be proud of,” said Margi Nanney, Manatee School District spokeswoman.

As a whole, the Manatee district this year received a B, the same grade as in each year since 2003-04.

No schools in in Manatee County received an F.

In 2007-08, 26 Manatee schools received an A; 10 received a B; 14 received a C; and three received a D.

In total, 11 district schools raised their grades this year and the total number of A schools in Manatee County rose from 25 in 2008 to 28 in 2009.

Overall, 42, or 76 percent, of 55 district schools earned an A or B this year, up from 66 percent last year, said Michael Barber, another district spokesman.

In all, Florida schools experienced their most successful year to date, according to a Florida Department of Education news release. Driven by a significant increase in the number of A grades, more than three quarters of all public schools are considered to be high performing (receiving either an A or B).

Statewide, the 2009 results show the number of schools earning an F grade decreased to the lowest point in three years.

Individual school grades are available at