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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

The FCAT's all right, Florida Department of Education suggests



It's not over yet. But the independent audit of this spring's FCAT results seems to indicate that the scores some superintendents complained about are not as out of whack as they suggested, K-12 chancellor Frances Haithcock wrote in a memo to districts late Wednesday. She stressed that no conclusions have yet been reached.

The department invited several superintendents and testing coordinators, including Hillsborough's MaryEllen Elia and Sam Whitten, to go over the information collected so far.

The final results aren't expected until next week at the earliest. But the conversation continues, the DOE said, to keep the lines of communication open between districts and the state.

Read on for Haithcock's memo to superintendents. (See the documents referred to in the memo here.)

Dear District Superintendents,

Tomorrow, Commissioner Smith and members of the Department’s Accountability, Research and Measurement (ARM) unit will be meeting with a representative group of district assessment coordinators and district superintendents for a discussion about the ongoing FCAT/learning gains external review.  The purpose of this meeting is to review the statewide data that is presently being analyzed by external auditors and to ensure that the questions and research being conducted are responsive to the inquiries of school districts throughout the state. We thank Bill Montford and the leadership at FADSS for their assistance in keeping this spirit of inclusion and productive conversation going.

The information to be reviewed at tomorrow’s meeting is included in this e-mail for your review and will also be posted to the Department’s website for your reference.  I must emphasize however, that the purpose of this exercise is to present preliminary data, not conclusions, regarding this external review and to determine whether or not school districts have additional questions as a result of reviewing this new data.

The school district superintendents attending tomorrow’s work session are:

Miami-Dade: Alberto Carvalho
Duval: Ed Pratt-Daniels
Escambia: Malcolm Thomas
Gulf: Tim Wilder
Hillsborough: MaryEllen Elia
Orange: Ron Blocker
St. Johns: Joe Joyner

The assessment coordinators attending tomorrow’s work session are:

Broward: Paul Houchens
Columbia: Kitty McElhaney
Dade: Sally Shay
Hillsborough: Sam Whitten
Palm Beach: Marc Baron

The data and documents to be reviewed are attached to this e-mail for your reference.  While we will receive direct feedback from the group present tomorrow, we also welcome your suggestions regarding the information presented.

Thank you,

Chancellor Haithcock


[Last modified: Thursday, July 29, 2010 5:07pm]


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