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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Middleton, Edison Senior high schools miss accountability mark, face reconstitution



Last year, 13 Florida schools performed badly enough to fall under the state's most severe sanctions in its new accountability plan if they didn't improve.

One closed. Ten improved this year. And two didn't make it.

Now Hillsborough's Middleton High School and Miami-Dade's Edison Senior High must face the music.

State law requires those two schools to choose from four options - closure, conversion to a charter school, contracting with a private operator or conversion to a district-run turnaround school. Each has chosen to become a turnaround school, deputy chancellor for school improvement and accountability Nikolai Vitti tells the Gradebook.

What does that mean? Vitti explains:

"A lot of the guidelines are similar to what we have already in the list of requirements for the lowest performing schools. For example, you have to really evaluate whether the principal should be there. You might have to remove the principal. You have to really evaluate the gains in math and reading to ensure that teachers have been effective in math and reading. If not, you would have to reassign the teachers to other schools.

"You'd have to provide performance pay to administrators and teachers. You'd have to have instructional coaches in math, science and reading. You would have to offer summer professional development for new teachers that are hired. A report needs to go to your local school board detailing the progress of your school. You need to have a community board that oversees the work of that school throughout the year. Those are just some of the requirements that are put in place for those schools."

And if they fail again next year? They would have to choose from the remaining three options.

The Department of Education plans to release the full list of accountability ratings for all state schools later today. We'll bring you more details as they emerge. And look for a full interview about the differentiated accountability model with Vitti on Saturday.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:27am]


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