Wednesday, December 1, 2021

MIA Receives ‘A’ Grade



By Noelle H. Lowery

The Marco Island Academy received an early Christmas gift from the Florida Department of Education right before its holiday break.

The island’s charter high school received an overall “A” grade for its academic performance over the 2013-14 school year.

“The hard work of teachers, students, school leadership, and board members at Marco Island Academy really paid off,” said MIA Board Chairman and Founder Jane Watt. “I am so proud of all those who worked so hard.”

The “A” grade was the result of MIA receiving its accreditation last year and its dramatically improved test scores for both the end-of-course tests and the FCAT-2.0. MIA’s first-time test-takers made the largest gains of any high school in Collier County in Algebra and the second largest for both U.S. History and Reading. Overall, in learning gains, MIA ranked first amongst all Collier County high schools in Biology and U.S. History, second in Geometry and third in Algebra.

MIA’s largest increases in test scores came from first-time test-takers, where student passing rates went from 80 percent to 84 percent in Geometry, 39 percent to 91 percent in Algebra, 70 percent to 96 percent in U.S. History, and 57 percent to 71 percent in Reading. The school’s first-time test-takers ranked first overall amongst all Collier County high schools in Biology, Geometry, Reading, U.S. History and Algebra. MIA was also ranked first in the district in 10th grade FCAT Writing.

In comparison to all high schools across Florida, the testing results also showed MIA excelling, as overall the students led state passing averages in Biology by 19 percent, Geometry by 18 percent, Algebra by 10 percent and U.S. History by 27 percent.

To be sure, this “A” grade is a far cry from the “D” ranking the school received for the 2012-13 period. The reason for the low grade: Because MIA did not have a graduating class in 2013, the state of Florida graded it on the same scale it uses for elementary schools. This meant certain factors used to grade high schools — participation and performance in accelerated classes and college readiness — were not included in the state’s assessment of MIA’s student performance. Even so, MIA still was compared to other high schools when considering overall achievement.

MIA’s new ranking placed it in the top echelon of Collier County High Schools and demonstrated the most dramatic improvement of any Collier County institution.

“Everyone who is part of MIA should take credit in this success,” said MIA Principal Melissa Scott. “I am especially proud of the students who not only take their academics seriously but have worked so hard to achieve results that will benefit them for years to come.”

Watt added: “Marco Island Academy is committed to being a preeminent institution for secondary education in not only Collier County, but also statewide. This grade is not an aberration, but what we expect to achieve in each measurement cycle.”



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