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Education Rankings FAQ

The TATP Education grades and DOE's School and District Grades are different, and they have different objectives.

TATP's grade allows for Floridians to easily compare “Education” in their city or county to "Education" in jurisdictions of similar size. TATP Education grades are based on just two factors: average grade of all schools in the jurisdiction and average high school graduation rate (both from 2018-19 data published by DOE).

For this project, equal portions of jurisdictions receive As, Bs, Cs, and Ds, based on how each compares against other counties or cities of similar size. Therefore, not all jurisdictions can receive an "A."

This is different from DOE’s School and District Grades methodology, where several factors go into the grades, and schools and districts are measured against a predetermined benchmark of success whereas the TATP grade measures schools against schools in similar-sized jurisdictions. Furthermore, DOE’s District Grades treat individual districts like one large school, while our method considers the variation among school grades in a jurisdiction.

First, we took the school grades of schools in the jurisdiction and the graduation rates of all the high schools in the jurisdiction, created an average for each of those components, and ranked them. Then, we averaged those values together and ranked them against jurisdictions in their size group.

Unlike the DOE School and District grade, which indicates an absolute level of performance, the grades in this system are labels on a quartile scale to make comparisons easier and to create an incentive for cities and counties to be ever improving.

The purpose of this project was to give taxpayers a nonpartisan, comparative look at objective data so that they could easily see how their area ranks (across many categories, including Education) against others of similar size.

Each of the TATP categories includes more than one factor so that the grade and ranking offers a broader look at performance. Graduation rate is one of several factors that play into DOE’s school grade for high schools and overall district grade. Graduation rate is also a simple data point that measures how well a local government is fulfilling its promise to educate students from early childhood through high school. It’s a fair indicator of how the region is doing, and therefore, worth factoring in — even beyond the small role it plays in DOE grades.

Similar to how DOE calculates school grades, we did not include alternative schools or ESE centers in our data set.

If a county or city has no high schools, and therefore has no recorded graduation rate, it would NOT be penalized in these rankings. Rather, it would be labeled “data not available” to reflect this status accurately.

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