A Senate panel has approved changes to the state school grading formula which echo those proposed by Florida schools chief Pam Stewart, the Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau reports.
The bill looks similar to recommendations made last month by state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. It eliminates the bonus points schools can earn, as well as the so-called triggers that automatically cause a school grade to drop. It also removes several factors from the complex formula used to evaluate high schools, including five-year graduation rates and some college readiness measures.
Schools would continue to receive A-F grades during the transition to a new formula. But there would be no consequences for poor performance in the first year.
The education committee made two tweaks to Stewart’s original recommendations. They added a provision that would give middle schools credit for participation and performance in high-school classes. They also added language that would exempt children with complex disabilities from state testing, in response to recent discussions about the plight of profoundly disabled children.
As Florida prepares to move to new K-12 math and language arts standards this fall, state Democrats have joined school superintendents and the Florida PTA in asking for a three-year delay before school performance is judged using Common Core.
School grades are partly based on student test results. Tests tied to the new Common Core standards are expected to be more difficult, and perhaps half as many Florida students will meet state goals.