For the first time in the 15-year history of school and district grades, Flagler County schools did not earn a single A in 2016. Officials are cautioning parents and students not to put too much stock in the results, which reflect a new but also tougher way to grade schools.
Time to take a good look at whether the changes we’ve endured — mass privatization, real-dollar funding decreases, high-stakes testing, and loss of local school board authority — gets us closer to carrying out our constitutional duty to our children.
Stewart recommended that the state get rid of a language-arts test students take in 11th grade, eliminating some final exams and making optional a college readiness test.
Appearing at an education Summit, Jeb Bush, who is preparing a run for the presidency, saw his common core, school voucher and high-stakes testing ideas challenged, as they would likely be on the campaign trail.
With parents complaining about a glut of tests in public schools and the Florida Department of Education investigating how much time students spend on exams, senators appear ready to refocus how the state assesses learning gains.
Overall, Flagler students improved their rankings in Florida in 12 categories while dropping back in seven, providing many bright spots but also a few worrisome ones.
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.
All but one Flagler County public or charter school scored an A or a B. The exception was Palm Harbor Academy, a charter, which scored an F. The state’s teachers union cautioned against making much of the results absent a more reliable testing system.
As reading and math scores improved statewide in most grades, despite tougher standards, Flagler County students lost ground over last year’s results, and struggled to keep up with state averages.
Out of 988 students who took the test in Flagler County, 130, or 13 percent, scored only a 1 on a scale of 5, and will be held back, absent improvements in summer reading school, which the district offers free.