Commissioner's FSA cut score recommendations are final, spokeswoman says
If the Florida Board of Education wants to increase state test cut scores to reflect NAEP proficiency, state education commissioner Pam Stewart isn't offering any cover.
Stewart has no plans to alter her Florida Standards Assessments cut score recommendations, which she issued in September, a Department of Education spokeswoman told the Gradebook.
Stewart conducted a thorough review of the exams, including plenty of outside input, before making her proposal to indicate "passing" rather than "proficiency," public information officer Alix Miller said. So even though the commissioner will bring the State Board of Education requested information comparing her proposed scores to those of other states, Miller said, her guidance is "final."
Some state Board members have called for scores to reflect NAEP proficiency levels, saying lower cut scores do not tell students the truth about their abilities. On Tuesday, superintendents encouraged the board to stick with Stewart's plan, reminding members that the FSA and NAEP do not cover the same standards or measure achievement the same way.
Former governor Jeb Bush's foundation has urged the State Board to set the scores high. Current Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, has largely stayed out of the debate, saying he expected Stewart and the board to do the right thing. He did appoint one new member, though, who has a history of supporting the state's education "reform" movement.
The board meets again Dec. 4 by phone to further discuss its options.