New academic standards - now called the Florida Standards - and revisions to the school grading system were among key topics at today's State Board of Education meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, Miami-Dade Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho presented, on behalf of Florida superintendents, the concerns that the superintendents wanted the board to consider around the issue standards, assessment, school grades and teacher evaluation. Among his points and recommendations to the board were:
Following Carvalho's suggestions, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart presented her report and discussed the progress of the state's selection of a new assessment, in addition to updating the board on the proposed changes to the Florida Standards. Stewart said the Department of Education was on schedule to have an assessment chosen in March.
On the topic of the proposed changes to the state standards, Stewart reviewed the clarifications, additions, and deletions to the standards, similar to her presentation to the Senate Education Committee earlier this month. The State Board of Education will vote on the 99 proposed changes at their February meeting. Details of the changes to the state standards are available on the Jacksonville Public Education Fund blog - click here for the link.
The commissioner is now calling them "Florida Standards" instead of "Common Core State Standards," saying that term is appropriate because state standards do not only encompass the subject areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics, but include those previously adopted for other subject areas as well. Common Core State Standards only address English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Stewart also told the Board that she does not support suspending school grading during the transition period to the new standards and assessment, saying she does "not feel it is the right thing to do for the students." This comment followed Carvalho's recommendations, which asked the board to consider a transitional accountability system, which would not impose a letter grade amidst the changes of the new standards and assessment. The changes to the school grading system will be presented at the February board meeting.
To read about the Jacksonville Public Education Fund's suggestions for the school grading system, read our latest policy brief, Understanding and Updating School Grades for Florida's Future.
At the meeting, the State Board of Education also welcomed two new board members, Rebecca Fishman Lipsey (started January 1) and Andy Tuck (starting February 1).
-- Kelly Turner