Southeast scores a first ‘B’ in school rankings

MANATEE — Southeast High School achieved its first “B” ever for the 2010-2011 school year, while Bayshore and Palmetto high schools each dropped a grade level, to “C” and “D” respectively, according to rankings released today by the state Department of Education.

Southeast’s strong showing — a full two grade levels above last year’s “D” ranking — was one of three good news items for Manatee high schools from the rankings, which are released annually.

The other good news were the return of Manatee High School and Manatee School for the Arts to “A rankings. Braden River High School and Lakewood Ranch High School each remained steady at a “B” grade.

Overall, the Manatee County school district maintained the “B” ranking it has had since the 2004-2005 school year.

The high school rankings are based on a combination of students’ performance on FCAT tests, how much low-scoring students improved their test performance, graduation rates, the percentage of students enrolled in accelerated courses like Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, and the academic performance of those students.

Results show that 78 percent of the state’s high schools earned either an “A” or “B” grade, an increase from 71 percent last year. These grades are based on the high school grading formula that was used for the first time in the 2009-10 school year.