Florida Governor Approves 1-Year Pause On School Grades

By: Lanetra Bennett; Associated Press News Email
By: Lanetra Bennett; Associated Press News Email

News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: May 12, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Sanctions resulting from Florida's school grading system will be put on hold for a year under a bill signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott signed the bill (SB 1642) overhauling the state's A-to-F grading system on Monday along with more than 50 other bills.

The legislation follows a tumultuous time for Florida's education system during which critics questioned both the state's grading system and new testing standards.

The decision to overhaul the grading system is being made as the state transitions to a new standardized test.

A key portion of the bill would ensure that schools wouldn't receive sanctions or penalties as a result of school grades issued in 2015. That's because the state plans to use the first year of the new test as a baseline to measure schools.


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 30, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's school grading system would be paused for a year under a bill now headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

The Florida House on Wednesday voted 76-42 for the bill (SB 1642) that overhauls the state's A-to-F school grading system. The legislation is backed by Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

The move is being made as the state transitions to a new test replacing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

But a key portion of the bill would ensure that schools wouldn't receive any sanctions or penalties as a result of school grades issued in 2015. That's because the state plans to use the first year of the new test as a baseline to measure schools.

School superintendents had suggested a three-year pause on the grading system.


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 11, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's school grading system would be paused for a year under a bill passed by the Florida Senate.

The Senate voted unanimously Friday for the bill (SB 1642) that overhauls the state's A-to-F school grading system. The legislation backed by Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

The move is being made as the state transitions to a new test replacing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

But a key portion of the bill would ensure that schools wouldn't receive any sanctions or penalties as a result of school grades issued in 2015. That's because the state plans to use the first year of the new test as a baseline to measure schools.

School superintendents had suggested a three-year pause on the grading system.

The House has yet to vote on the bill.


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: March 24, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- State legislators are getting behind a proposal to pause Florida's school grading system for a year.

A Florida House panel on Monday voted in favor of a bill (HB 7117) that overhauls the state's A-to-F grading system. The legislation is based on recommendations made by Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

The move is being made as the state transitions to a new test that will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

But a key portion of the bill would ensure that schools would not receive any sanctions or penalties as a result of school grades issued in 2015. That's because the state plans to use the first year of the new test as a "baseline" in which to measure schools.

School superintendents had suggested a three-year pause on the grading system.


By: Lanetra Bennett
March 12, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - A plan to simplify the calculations for school grades in Florida passed a House Education committee Wednesday.

Florida House Representative, Janet Adkins, says a bill that deals with the plan to provide a transition in the state's school accountability program will adequately assess what's going in Florida schools.

Under the school accountability revisions, recommendations for calculating school grades include:
• Avoid provisions that over‐complicate the formula and
muddle the meaning of a school grade
– No bonus factors or additional weighting that may raise a
school grade
– No additional requirements or automatic adjustments that
may lower a school grade
• Ensure that the level of performance associated with
an A‐F school grade is transparently evident
– Report all school grade components as percentages, each
worth a maximum of 100 points
– Report A‐F grades based on a percentage of points earned
(e.g., 70%, 80%), rather than a point total

Vern Pickup-Crawford, the legislative liaison for the Palm Beach School Board, says, "As you move into school grades, that then dictates where we are as far as what teacher evaluation and performance pay plans. Performance pay plans and teacher evaluations are at the end of the train. It's important that we get this right the first time."

The bill requires a periodic review of the scale.

Florida resident, John Wynn, says there should be interventions for schools, regardless of their grades. He says, "When a school gets an A, everybody says, everybody tends to say, everything is fine at this school. But, we have found that in many A schools, everything is fine when it comes to their most struggling students."

Rep. Adkins says the bill would take away the smoke and mirrors surrounding school grade calculations.

Concerns were raised during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday. Representative Cynthia Stafford says funding would go to A schools, instead of those in need.

Other concerns include questions if a one year transition was enough time. Rep. Adkins says it is. She says taking three years to transition to the new plan would be inappropriate.

The bill passed, with Rep. Stafford and Rep. Reggie Fullwood voting against it.

The current system will remain in place until the end of this school year when the F-CAT 2.0 (Reading, Writing and Mathematics) expires.


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