• High school grades up across central Florida


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - New numbers show high school grades are up across the state and in central Florida. The good news comes despite the tougher grading standards this year.

    Just three years ago, Oak Ridge High School scored in the bottom 5 percent when compared with the rest of the nation in reading and math.

    Today, students and staff are celebrating their first B rating in school history.

    Jennifer Perez, a 10th grader at Oak Ridge, said she is thankful that for the first time, her high school is no longer considered underperforming. After two Cs and two Ds, it is now a B school.

    "It's awesome. The school is finally successful, and now we're up there with a lot of other schools we compete with," said Perez.

    The school not only recently got a new building; it saw a change in leadership.

    Assistant Principal Mike Martucci said the change began with commitment and dedication.

    "Being able to change the culture, what kids believe in themselves, teachers believe in themselves, and an administrator principal who came in with tremendous vision and had the courage to stick up for it," said Martucci.

    Channel 9's Lori Brown found that many schools across central Florida received higher grades.

    Eighty central Florida high schools received an A or B rating. That is up from the previous year, when 75 schools received A or B ratings.

    Nineteen schools received a C, D or F rating. That is down from 24 schools the previous year.

    Orange County high schools received their highest grades ever, with only Colonial and Ocoee getting C ratings.

    The state has a safety net provision in place that prevents schools from dropping more than one letter grade. No central Florida high school had to make use of that safety net.

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