Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:46 pm
The start of the school year in Florida and many parts of the country has meant a glut of new education polls asking about shared education standards, standardized testing, teacher evaluations and policies adopted by Florida and other states.
How bad will it be? Check out the test results released today in New York.
Just 31 percent of New York students in third through eighth grades were proficient on the new math and reading exam. Last year, 65 percent were proficient in math and 55 percent were proficient in English on different exams.
On The Florida Roundup: Our state's leadership goes through more upheaval, this time with the resignation of Education Commissioner Tony Bennett. He will be the fifth education head (including interims) to depart in the 31 months since Governor Rick Scott took office.
Why has there been so much turnover? What impact does the latest change have on students and teachers?
Plus: the Hialeah shooting drew national attention again to gun deaths in our state. We look at what factors - or at least correlations - can be gleaned about violence and gun ownership.
Florida legislators recently enacted what they call a safety net that ensures no school's performance drops more than one letter under the state's grading system. But despite students' academic improvement, there are a record number of F-rated schools this year.
An "A" was always the gold standard. Every student knows that the better the grade, the greater the reward, whether the reward is a gold star, a trophy or a scholarship.
It’s no different for schools. Since 1999, Florida schools have worked to measure student learning gains and to objectively measure teacher and school performance. An "A" school brings recognition, prestige and financial gain.
But measuring school accountability has become more difficult than anyone thought it would be. And, as recent legislative decisions show, may carry huge political consequences.
Add U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to those opposing shared education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.
The standards, known as Common Core, have been under fire from those on the political right and left. Conservatives argue the federal government coerced states with money to adopt the standards, undermining local control of education. Those on the left protest increased testing.