Florida lawmakers take issue with USDOE position on English-language learners
In extending Florida's No Child Left Behind waiver, the U.S. Department of Education made clear its displeasure with one key action added by Florida lawmakers.
The state's decision not to count test scores of English-language learners in school accountability ratings until the students had been in a U.S. school at least two years wasn't going to fly, assistant secretary Deborah Delisle informed education commissioner Pam Stewart.
"Current law requires assessing all students in tested grades and including their results in accountability determinations in order to ensure that teachers and parents of ELs (English learners) have information on students’ progress and that schools are held accountable for the academic achievement of ELs," Delisle wrote to Stewart.
State lawmakers were not impressed.
"What I think Florida is going to do, and has to do, is quite frankly to fight it," said Rep. Erik Fresen, the House Education Appropriations chairman, who sponsored the legislation. "Florida's law directly reflects Florida's reality."