Science and Social Studies Scores a Mixed Bag

Guest Correspondence

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

The Argus Foundation over the last two months has taken Florida Department of Education data from the end of year assessment scores to compare Sarasota County Schools, and schools within the district, in English and in math. This month we are going to cover science and social studies.

Sarasota ties for ninth in the state in Biology 1 and gained two percentage points in proficiency from last year to this year. Sarasota is 9 points above the state average but 14 percentage points behind first place St. John’s County.

Sarasota ranks 10th in 8th Grade science in the state and lost a percentage point in proficiency from 2022. Sarasota has 40% of their middle schools with more students Below Satisfactory or Inadequate in 8th grade science than proficient, six of those schools are below the state average. Those schools are Imagine School at North Port, Heron Creek Middle School, Sarasota Military Academy, Sky Academy Venice, Booker Middle School and Triad.

Sarasota ranks third in 5th Grade science in the state. Sarasota increased proficiency by 9 percentage points from last year but still has one third of students who are Below Satisfactory or Inadequate in 5th Grade science. Seven schools have more students who are Below Satisfactory or Inadequate in 5th Grade science than those that are proficient. Those schools are Tuttle Elementary, Glenallen Elementary, Imagine School at Palmer Ranch, Gocio Elementary, Emma E. Booker Elementary, Sarasota Academy of the Arts and Suncoast School for Innovative Studies.

In Social Studies, Sarasota ranks ninth in the state in U.S. History proficiency. It maintained its proficiency from last year, neither dropping nor improving. Sarasota County is 10 points above the state average but 10 points under St. Johns County, which ranks first in the state. There are three schools below the state average, they are Booker High, Sarasota Virtual Instruction and Triad.

In Civics, Sarasota ranks third in the state behind St. Johns and Lafayette counties. Sarasota dropped three percentage points of proficiency from the previous year, but did have four out of five students in the county who were proficient in Civics. There are three schools below the state average score. Those schools were Imagine School at North Port, Booker Middle School and Triad.

This is the first year for this type of testing. The state has yet to release the scores based upon demographics due to the new benchmarks and assessments. We expect that data to be released this fall, along with school and district grades. When those are released, we will continue with our Sarasota Schools Data Dig reporting to help the community understand where we stand with education in Sarasota County. There is more data to come.

Christine Robinson is Executive Director of The Argus Foundation.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

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