Pasco superintendent calls on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to suspend school grades
Encouraged by constituents to do more than make statements, Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning has asked Gov. Rick Scott to halt the planned use of spring Florida Standards Assessment data for anything but baseline information.
"I respectfully request that you issue an executive order suspending the use of 2014-2015 FSA data for school grades and teacher evaluations," Browning wrote in a letter to the governor.
"Governor, you have sole authority to set the Florida accountability system ship back on the right course by issuing an executive order suspending the use of 2014-2015 FSA results for teacher evaluations and school grades," he wrote. "By slowing down and waiting to use FSA results until we can measure student gains, we can regain Florida's status as the leader in school accountability."
Browning stands in a somewhat unique position, as he served in Scott's administration as secretary of state before running for the Pasco superintendent job. He's considered to have influence within Tallahassee, but has frequently suggested that his swing with the governor is limited once Scott makes a decision.
And Scott has already stated emphatically that he has no plans to suspend school grades or other aspects of the accountability model.
Superintendents, parents, school board members, teachers and others have not given up their effort to press for reforms to the program, especially given their concerns over spring computerized testing problems.
"We all want our accountability system to be the best in the nation -- and for that to happen it must change," Sumter County schools superintendent Richard Shirley recently wrote to colleagues.
Shirley represents several counties on the state superintendents association governing board. He said Browning will speak for the group at next week's Florida Board of Education meeting in Orlando.
Many parent groups are trying to generate a large presence for that session as well, to show solidarity behind their desire to see the state testing and consequences program changed.