Chiles still best among public high schools in Leon County for STEM career prep, but Godby is the real success story

As it has been for years, Chiles High School is still the best public high school in Leon County for the rate at which students take the math and science courses most important for preparing for bachelor’s degree-level STEM majors – physics, chemistry, precalculus and calculus.

But that’s not surprising given the affluence of the school’s student body. The percentage of Chiles students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches is only 8.9%, according to the Florida Department of Education.

The real story in Leon County is how well Godby High School continues to do in math and science course-taking with its economically challenged student body. Godby’s free and reduced-price lunch eligibility rate is 87.5%.

Even though Godby doesn’t offer calculus, its high rate of physics, chemistry and precalculus course-taking gives its students a fighting chance to succeed in fields such as engineering and the health professions.

The enrollment rates for the subjects featured here – physics, chemistry, precalculus and calculus – are calculated as explained in this post from February. The STEM Career Prep Index shown above is the sum of those enrollment rates.

The public high schools in Leon County remain strongly economically segregated, with three schools (Leon, Lincoln, FSU Lab School) having free and reduced-price eligibility rates in the 20’s, Chiles below 10%, and Godby and Rickards in the 80’s. Rickards also has an IB magnet program, which provides much of its course-taking in math and science.

FSU’s lab school (known as Florida State University Schools or Florida High) is run as a charter. While the school is located in Leon County, it is not authorized by the Leon County school district – it is run by FSU’s College of Education and its funding does not flow through the Leon County school district.

The course enrollment rates for physics, chemistry, precalculus and calculus are shown below.

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