Riding a wave of high-achieving 7th graders, mega-district Orange County passed traditional math and science powerhouse Seminole to become Florida’s best district for middle school performance on the state’s Algebra 1 end-of-course exam (EOC) this spring, according to an analysis of test results released by the FLDOE last week.
The chart below shows a measure of middle school Algebra 1 success for each district. The blue part of the each bar shows percentage of a district’s 7th graders who passed the Algebra 1 EOC this spring. For example, 18.9% of Orange County’s 7th graders passed the Algebra 1 EOC. The red part of each bar shows the corresponding percentage for 8th graders. In Orange County, 26.8% of 8th graders passed the exam. In total, the bar shows the sum of those two percentages.
By this measure, Orange County at 45.7% has a narrow lead over four other districts – mega-district Hillsborough County (45.3%), Seminole County (45.1%), Collier County (45.1%) and the state’s other traditional math and science powerhouse, Brevard County (44.5%).
The five leading counties have different strategies for achieving their high levels of success in middle school Algebra 1. While Orange County is building its success with extraordinary results in 7th grade, Collier has almost no 7th graders taking Algebra 1. Instead, nearly all of Collier’s Algebra 1 exam passers were in 8th grade. Hillsborough also has a large number of 8th grade exam passers. Seminole and Brevard Counties stuck to their traditional formula of having about four times as many 8th graders taking Algebra 1 as 7th graders.
Collier’s score jumped 14.8 percentage points from last year. Orange increased by 5.2 points. Brevard, Hillsborough and Seminole had little or no growth.
The data for this analysis came from the FLDOE web site.