Putting Education Reform To The Test

Extra Class Time For Florida’s Low Performing Schools


Florida elementary schools that don’t perform up to par in reading will have an extra hour tacked on to their day. A new law that goes in to effect this summer will target the worst 100 performers.

Schools getting the extra class time will be determined based on reading scores from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

The law says each school district having low-performing elementary schools will have to provide an additional hour of intensive reading instruction each day. Districts will pay for the expanded school day with more than $600-million set aside by legislators to cover the law.

This isn’t just a state effort. Federal funding is also being distributed around the country as part of the School Improvement Grant program.The federal money is an effort to overhaul the country’s bottom 5 percent of public schools.

The expanded school days come as Florida implements a tougher scoring system for the FCAT. The higher academic standards mean more students are likely to fail the test. Another reason to boost reading scores is that they will soon have an effect on teacher salaries.
FCAT results won’t be available until June. Only then will parents know if their child will be staying an hour later at school.



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