On a recommendation from Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett, the Florida Board of Education has chosen to bring back a rule that keeps school rankings from dropping more than one letter grade at a time.
The tweak to the school-grading system comes after a task force of superintendents and education observers warned recent changes intended to increase the rigor of Florida’s accountability system would drop school grades, despite improved test results.
The board agreed that the grades, which are due out by the end of July, will not decline by more than one letter, regardless of student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT.
Bennett said the changes would allow schools to ready for the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2014-15.
"To be clear, my recommendations are made not to soften the blow of higher standards or to reduce the number of failing schools, but rather to advance the best policy for Florida's students and position our state for a successful transition to full implementation of the CCSS in the 2014-2015 school year and beyond,” Bennett said.
Added Gov. Rick Scott: "Florida's future relies on a strong education system with the best teachers preparing our students for college and career choices that meet the expectations for an increasingly competitive global workforce. Today's vote maintains high standards during our transition to Common Core State Standards that the state's teachers, lawmakers and education leaders have agreed will increase student performance and their success in college and careers."
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Food and fun
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