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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Education "acceleration" bill heads to Gov. Rick Scott



A bill that would require Florida school districts to adopt early high school graduation policies won unanimous Senate support on Wednesday as it headed to Gov. Rick Scott's office for his signature into law.

The bill would allow students to earn credit based on their accelerated learning, and not just based on the amount of time they sit in a class. The provisions include:

At a minimum, each school must offer the following ACCEL options: whole-grade and midyear promotion; subject-matter acceleration; virtual instruction in higher grade level subjects; and the Credit Acceleration Program under s. 1003.4295. Additional ACCEL options may include, but are not limited to, enriched science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) coursework; enrichment programs; flexible grouping; advanced academic courses; combined classes; self-paced instruction; curriculum compacting; advanced-content instruction; and telescoping curriculum.

Part of the idea behind this bill was the notion that advanced students were being ignored as schools work to bring up low-performing children to meet state and federal accountability standards.

Patricia Levesque, who heads Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future, praised the passage of the legislation. "Recognizing and rewarding student learning instead of just seat-time is the next step towards providing every Florida student a quality education that is customized to meet their unique learning style and pace," she said in a release. "We look forward to Governor Scott signing this bill into law."

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 3:10pm]


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