State Senator Calls For End To Florida School Grades

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It's been a source of controversy and dozens of changes.

Reformers say Florida's system for grading public schools needs an overhaul.

Leon County Schools Assistant Superintendent Scott Crowe is calling for a three year suspension of any further changes to make sure the scale is done right.

"We just want the ability to let those great teachers do what they do best and that's teach and let the students attain that bar that the state is setting," said Crowe.

But State Senator Dwight Bullard of Miami would take an additional step.

"I think school grading should go away because it unfortunately creates the malaise among folks that one school is better than the other," Bullard said.

Reformers say part of the problem is putting too much stock in standardized testing.

They point out even the companies producing tests like the FCAT warn against it.

"It's not an accurate way to measure not only what kids do, but teacher evaluations, school grades and everything that goes along with it," said Orange County School Board Chairman Rick Roach.

Reformers also called the board of education's differing achievement goals for students racist.

They say this race based standard will result in poorer outcomes for minority students.

"This plan sends a devastating message to our children that the color of their skin and not their hard work will determine their achievement levels," said Southern Poverty Law Center Attorney Stephanie Langer.

The SPLC is circulating a petition demanding changes to what the group calls "racist standards."

Bullard says there will be a school accountability bill introduced during the session.

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