A little love for the arts
Florida's new high school grading system took the pressure off FCAT as a sole measure of success. Lawmakers added such criteria as Advanced Placement participation and graduation rates, hoping to apply a broader definition of school success.
Some worried that the arts would take a hit as high schools focus on the core courses.
State Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, hopes to fix that.
He has filed a bill to let participation in the fine arts play a part in a high school's state grade. Specifically, the state would count "the participation rate of all eligible students in the school who are enrolled in fine arts courses, which are visual arts, music, dance and theatre, and the growth or decline in the percentage of students who enroll in such courses from year to year."
There's no House companion bill yet. But Wise heads Senate Education Appropriations again this year, and he usually finds a way to get things he really wants (or stop those he doesn't). Stay tuned.
(Times photo, River Ridge High's Bye Bye Birdie production, Brendan Fitterer)