Florida gets reprieve on ESSA revisions

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart  speaks at a recent Florida Constitution Revision Commission committee meeting. [The Florida Channel]
Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart speaks at a recent Florida Constitution Revision Commission committee meeting. [The Florida Channel]
Published February 16 2018
Updated February 16 2018

Florida has received another extension to update its federal education accountability plan.

Commissioner Pam Stewart was to have submitted revisions today, which already was a continuation from the original Jan. 4 deadline. But Stewart contacted the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday to request another, as the state grapples with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting.

"We're not exactly sure how long the extension is," Florida Department of Education spokeswoman Audrey Walden said. "But they did give us another extension."

Observers across the nation have been watching Florida in its dealings with the federal government over its Every Student Succeeds Act proposal, because Florida openly ignored some of the standards in the law. The state refused, for instance, to offer tests in languages other than English, despite a mandate to "provide a definition of languages other than English that are present to a significant extent in the participating student population and identify the specific language(s) that meet this definition."

That action is seen as a precursor to enforcing regulations that have states make "every effort" to develop tests in the most used other native languages in the state's schools.

The state also differed from the federal guidelines on issues including the accountability of demographic subgroups and the use of eighth-graders' math scores.

Previous coverage: Florida's accountability plan needs more work, federal government says

Advertisement