Last night, the Lee County school board became the first district to refuse state testing entirely. Other Florida school districts are also considering saying no to state exams.
The Florida School Boards Association is meeting next week and has posted an outline of the consequences for not complying state law.
The first step is an investigation by Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, according to the document posted by FSBA. If Stewart determines the district isn’t complying with state law, the State Board of Education can order the district to comply.
If the district refuses, the State Board of Education can ask the Legislature to take action. The state board can also withhold the transfer of state funds (and a big chunk of operations money goes through the state budget), lottery money or grants.
The document also lays out all the ways the district would not be complying with state law. Among them:
- Students would have to meet alternate requirements for high school graduation.
- Schools wouldn’t be able to provide extra instruction to students with low scores on the state reading test. Districts would also not be able to add an hour of reading instruction for the 300 lowest-performing schools.
- Teachers couldn’t be evaluated and paid based, in part, on student performance on tests.
- Schools would earn an “incomplete” grade on the state report card for public schools because fewer than 95 percent of students took the state exam. The consequences of that are unclear.
- Districts would be at risk of losing federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding and Title I funding for high-poverty schools.
You can read the memo below: