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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Did your pre-k program get kids ready?

Images When you picked a prekindergarten program for your 4-year-old, you might have had a feeling - or even a good indication - that the school or center you chose would prepare its students for success in kindergarten. Now the state has a new web site where you can see if you were right.

School districts around Florida evaluated every kindergartner on a selected set of skills, such as the ability to recognize letters, within the first 30 days of school. There have been some complaints that the measurement isn't fair, as the kids were evaluated months after they finished pre-k, and there was no pretest to see where they started. Be that as it may, the state took the results and connected each child to the pre-k program he or she attended. That took a while. Today's release is for the 2005-06 voluntary prekindergarten program.

The students' performance on these evaluations could get a preschool a mark of up to 300. The average rate among all 31 early learning coalitions was 239, and only 13 of them had 30 percent or more performing in the top quarter.

Providers have some time to challenge their rates, and some might, as the bottom 15 percent will be identified as "low performing" and subject to strict improvement plans before losing their right to offer the state-funded program. That level will be formalized in June.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:17am]


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