Florida releases school grades for the first time since COVID hit

How did PBC schools fare?

My school, North Grade K‑8, has earned back its A school grade from the State of Flori­da!  You might think this is cause for us to cel­e­brate at North Grade, and many are — right­ly. They’ve earned it! But I’m not join­ing in.

For those of you in school sys­tems that don’t use let­ter school grades to deter­mine fund­ing, this might not seem like a big deal. But for us, it is. And while we are hap­py that North Grade has regained its A, we are upset for our hard­work­ing, ded­i­cat­ed col­leagues whose schools didn’t get that same letter. 

North Grade was an A school for almost a decade when the test changed from the FCAT to the FSA – all of the sud­den we received a C school grade The only thing that changed was the hoops we had to jump through. 

Today, we are the only pub­lic school in our small Flori­da city to earn a high­er than a D school grade. You know what? We’re not that much bet­ter than the oth­er schools. 

My friends and col­leagues all over town work as hard, plan as well, care as much, know as much, study and wor­ry as hard as we do at North Grade. But today they’re find­ing out that all their hard work and effort and care and love and sweat and tears is for a grade that doesn’t reflect any of that. These grades affect THEIR social-emo­tion­al health. And that all rolls down to affect the stu­dents. It’s hard to learn in a mis­er­able school lack­ing in play, fun and joy.

School suc­cess is much more than stan­dard­ized test grades. We need to col­lect and ana­lyze what Shane Safir and Jami­la Dugan call Street Data to find out what tru­ly mat­ters in the qual­i­ty of edu­ca­tion at a school.

Play and fun are inte­gral to suc­cess­ful learn­ing, and it’s hard for demor­al­ized teach­ers to inte­grate those into their days. As edu­ca­tors, we need to push for changes in how suc­cess is mea­sured so we can help every stu­dent achieve.

Lisa Poskanz­er

Direc­tor of Joy, Improv 2 Improve 

Play. Fun. Joy. 

(It’s seri­ous business!) 

Read more about the new­ly released school grades from the State of Flori­da in the Palm Beach Post or any local Flori­da newspaper. 


Lisa Poskanzer

Lisa Poskanzer

Lisa Poskanzer is the Director of Joy & Co-creator of Improv 2 Improve. Lisa finds joy walking on the beach and gardening.