The Flagler School Board wanted to start school in early August to give students more time to prepare for exams, but state law forbids it, forcing a calendar of its own on local districts.
florida department of education
What do my almighty “VAM” scores reveal about me, my students, the quality of my instruction or what goes on in my classroom? Absolutely nothing, writes JoAnn Nahirny, who deconstructs Florida’s new teacher-evaluation scores, hers among them, and shows why they have little basis in reality, though they may well define a teacher’s fate.
Critics of the state’s education policies are seizing on serial resignations in the education commissioner’s seat, arguing that the problem is less the person on the job than the state’s accountability system. Tony Bennett was a strong supporter of that system, adding a twist of irony to his resignation in the wake of reports that he tweaked the Indiana school report card formulas to help a school founded by a political contributor.
The Florida Department of Education expects its teachers to give immediate and detailed feedback to students on all work, yet the state will take three months to produce FCAT results, and it will do so without one iota of feedback other than a grade. Jo Ann Nahirny explores the hypocrisy.
Scientist Robert Krampf’s analysis of FCAT science test guidelines to be a collection of poorly written examples, multiple-choice questions where one or more of the wrong responses were actually scientifically correct answers, and definitions that ranged from misleading to totally wrong. State officials seemed unconcerned.
School-by-school rankings follow last week’s district rankings. Belle Terre Elementary and Indian Trails Middle ranked best, but still barely in the top quartile, while Flagler’s three charter schools scraped the bottom, in contrast with several top-performing charters elsewhere in the state.
FPC and Matanzas had the numbers for an A, but were docked a letter grade because they graduated fewer at-risk students than the state requires.
McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are in a battle over the right to provide testing items to the Florida Department of Education under a Race to the Top contract worth tens of millions of dollars.
The Department of Education and testing company Pearson are still playing word games over the cause and extent of the delay, which ruined district and student planning for fall.