Florida appears ready to exit a multistate effort to develop new tests to measure student learning, abandoning the initiative amid conservative activists' concerns that it represents federal overreach into the state's education system.
Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Monday ordering the state to end its role in helping handle the financial affairs of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
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.