This Judge Did A Doubletake

FAILED1Passing third grade depends in part on the district a child attends.  Some parents who opted their children out of the Florida State Assessment were dismayed to learn their children would be held back in third grade.  These are not low achieving students based on their grades on report cards.  The federal law requires that states administer annual assessments, and the government can penalize states with fewer than 95% of students participating.

Florida had no problem meeting the federal requirements, but some districts decided not to allow students without test scores to advance to fourth grade.  Parents could send their children to a summer portfolio session, in some districts, or they could sit an alternative assessment.  Parents sued Pasco and Hernando school districts.  The Leon County Circuit court heard the arguments on Friday.  Judge Gievers was troubled but thought any ruled she made would be immediately appealed.

Today Judge Gievers reconsidered.  She will rehear the case next Monday.  The children are now enrolled in third grade classes.  Maybe next week they will be fourth graders.  Something is wrong with this picture.  Whatever the policy may be, it should at least be the same for all children in the state.

 

ESSA: What does Pam Stewart think?

accounting-761599_640The U.S. Department of Education wants input to its rules to implement the Every Student Succeed Act.  State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart wrote them a letter, a long one.  In it she lists her concerns.  Her first concern had a familiar ring; under the proposed timeline, it would not be possible to implement the new rules by the beginning of the 2017-18 year.  One has to smile, Ms. Stewart is right.  She has learned from experience when district superintendents voiced similar complaints about the timeline for  implementing the Florida Student Assessment accountability measures two years ago.  Stewart’s other concerns are more problematic.

I list them below.

 

 

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