School districts have complained the system sets higher standards for the state’s lowest-rated schools. For a low-rated school to pull itself off a watch list the district must improve more rapidly than other state districts.
The result is that a district on a state watch list could earn a failing grade, school officials have said, while the same performance might earn another district a ‘C’.
The recommendations trim the number of schools improvement categories to 4 from 6. Only schools earning an ‘F’ grade could be considered among the lowest-rated schools.
The bill also eliminates the use of federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards. School districts have complained that AYP standards increase annually, forcing low-performing districts to hit a moving target to remove themselves from the watch list.
Other items the board could add to its legislative recommendations:
- Require private and public pre-kindergarten programs measure their performance.
- Allow the Florida Virtual School to become its own school district. The Board could recommend requiring the Florida Virtual School accept students with disabilities.
- Require additional background checks for private school operators accepting state school choice scholarships.