The Northwest Florida 35: Leon County’s Chiles High School leads the region in preparing students for college STEM majors

Leon County’s Chiles High School does the best job preparing its students for college majors in STEM fields among 35 Northwest Florida public high schools with 100 or more 12th graders, according to an index calculated using enrollment rates for chemistry, physics and calculus.

The high schools analyzed –  the Northwest Florida 35 – are located in a geographic region that begins at Escambia County and extends eastward to Leon and Wakulla Counties.  The region includes public high schools that range from very small (having many fewer than 100 12th graders) to fairly large (500 12th graders).  For the present analysis only schools with 100 or more 12th graders were examined.

The Fall 2017 course enrollment data were supplied by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE).  The department said that the enrollment data were still preliminary and subject to revision.  The school membership data were taken from the FLDOE’s EdStats system and are final.  Dual enrollment was not included in the present analysis because the FLDOE does not include those courses in its course enrollment reports.

The STEM Career Prep Index shown below is the sum of enrollment rates for chemistry, physics and calculus.  The index calculated for the statewide ranking published previously here included the precalculus enrollment rate as well.  However, several of the high schools in the present analysis deliver precalculus exclusively via dual enrollment and therefore score zero for precalculus enrollment rate.  Calculating the index without precalculus seemed to provide the most meaningful comparison of the high schools in the Northwest Florida 35.

Chiles’ edge in the index rankings came from its physics enrollment rate, where it leads second place Godby (Leon County) by ten points.  It is notable that while Chiles has a very affluent student body, Godby had a free and reduced-price eligibility rate of 92% in the fall of 2016, which is the most recent semester for which that statistic is available.






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