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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida education commissioner recommends FSA cut scores



Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart proposed state test "cut scores" that would see more middle grades students earning top marks on the annual Florida Standards Assessments than advisory panels recommended. Elementary students, by contrast, would find it tougher to earn a top math score.

Her language arts recommendations essentially match those of the advisory group.

Stewart's proposal comes days after the Florida Board of Education called for tougher passing standards, while superintendents pushed for measures that didn't perpetuate failure.

Stewart landed in the latter camp with her recommendations, which still must pass the State Board's muster in January.

Under her proposal, just more than half of students would earn a Level 3 or higher on all math and language arts tests except eighth-grade math and Algebra 2. Notably, she has called for some math cut scores lower than those put forth by a reactor panel of experts. Stewart would cut the reactor panel's recommendation for a Level 5 in seventh and eighth grade math by 3 points. On the other hand, she would increase the score needed to earn a Level 4.

In third through fifth grades, she proposes a Level 5 score that's 3 points higher than the advisory panels recommended.

"We want Florida students to get the skills they need to be competitive in the global economy," Stewart said in a news release. "The scoring recommendations were developed with teachers, parents, state board members, superintendents, higher education representatives, Florida's business community and the public. These recommendations are in line with the performance we should expect from our state's students at each grade level for each subject in order to prepare today's students for future success."

[Last modified: Monday, September 28, 2015 4:08pm]


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