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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Department of Education to seek public input on accountability revisions

Florida Department of Education leaders will be setting up an online forum this summer to collect ideas about how to revise the state's educational accountability system.

"Before we do anything with a state plan, we're going to get feedback from the folks who have an opinion," department spokeswoman Meghan Collins told the Gradebook.

States need to review and update their accountability rules and laws to comply with the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, which puts more control over definitions, measures and consequences for school performance into state hands.

Some of the issues they'll need to tackle include adopting student success measures other than testing, and determining how to use money set aside for the lowest performing 5 percent of schools. The achievement of English-language learners also will receive higher priority.

Florida has included some of these concepts in its past plans, and even fought with the U.S. Department of Education over ELL student results in the past. Even so, it will need to ensure it meets all aspects of the new law.

Florida officials don't want to move too quickly, Collins said, noting they have yet to receive even draft regulations and guidelines from the federal government. But as they make progress, she added, they want to be sure they hear the voices of all interested parties.

The department has not worked out its process for rewriting its accountability model. Collins said she expected it to be a collaborative effort, starting with the online forum that is likely to go live in June. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 10:09am]


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