In spite of arguments by some State Board of Education (SBE) members and the Jeb Bush Florida Foundation for Excellence in Education to raise the FSA passing standards, the Florida State Board of Education passed the lower cutoff scores proposed by Commission Pam Stewart.
Vice Chair Padget was the only dissenting vote. The SBE also passed the lower standards for school grades. This aligns the FSA passing rates and school grades with the FCAT 2.0 rates achieved last year.
The dispute was over the meaning of proficiency. A level 3 proficiency on the FSA test is lower than the proficiency required by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). A sample of all fourth and eighth grade students sit the NAEP nationwide.
Florida’s pattern of ‘making it up as they go along” continues. The issue of passing standards will be revisited again in June after the results of the spring assessment are compiled. Basically it is not a question of whether or not students are achieving the appropriate competency level, it is a question of how many failures the State is willing to accept.
Orange County District Superintendent and head of the state’s superintendent association, Barbara Jenkins, stated that it was time for a complete review of the state accountability system. She is correct. Give her an ‘A’.