Saturday, September 22, 2018

Civil rights groups urge U.S. Education Secretary DeVos to reject Florida’s latest accountability plan

After several delays, the Florida Department of Education submitted its revised Every Student Succeeds Act plan to the federal government in mid April.

Some civil rights group leaders want U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to do to the second version what she did to the first — reject it as noncompliant with federal law.

"As the plan currently stands, it excludes critical protections for our English learners, students with disabilities, students of color, and low-income students by failing to include required provisions for subgroup accountability, inclusion of progress toward English language proficiency in the accountability system, and implementation of native language assessment," LULAC state director Mari Corugedo and NAACP state education chair Shirley Johnson wrote in a letter sent to DeVos on Thursday.

The leaders noted that, when they met with U.S. Education officials, they were assured a plan that doesn't meet federal law wouldn't gain approval.

They drove home the point that, in their view, the updated version still doesn't qualify. In a backing document, they contend the plan doesn't include a single unified accountability system for the entire state, and suggest the bifurcated system proposed would be confusing and misleading.

They further note the state's refusal to consider testing in languages other than English, despite the federal requirement that states make every effort to do so.

"We believe that good law has the potential to lead to good policy and practice," the leaders wrote. "However, the desired outcomes are not automatic. The strength in the link between ESSA, equitable state education policy, and the district implementation of high-quality education programs depends on wise leadership and staunch enforcement by the U.S. Department of Education of the letter and spirit of the law as enacted by the Congress. Compliance with the law is the first step in the process."

The U.S. Department of Education has not yet taken a position on Florida's plan. It is one of a handful still outstanding.

Comments
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 16, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 16, 2018

Florida’s race for governor is officially on, and the topic of education promises to be a key issue as the candidates seek support. The major party hopefuls focused on their policy priorities over the past week, and they differ is most every wa...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Two Pasco County schools see principal shift

Two Pasco County schools see principal shift

Plagued with low staff morale, Pasco Middle School on Friday got a new principal charged with improving the climate of the Dade City campus.Danielle "Dee Dee" Johnson, principal of Wesley Chapel High since early 2017, was appointed to ...
Published: 09/21/18
Time for Florida’s new student scholarships draws near

Time for Florida’s new student scholarships draws near

It's six weeks into the 2018-19 school year, and Florida's two newest scholarship programs to help struggling readers and bullied children are about to become reality.Florida lawmakers established the Reading Scholarship and the "Hope" Scholarsh...
Published: 09/21/18
Florida education news: Football, mental health, accountability and more

Florida education news: Football, mental health, accountability and more

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Republican candidate for Florida governor Ron DeSantis offers more insights on his views about Common Core, testing, charter schools and civics education. He released his position paper on education earlier in the week. Several l...
Published: 09/21/18
Following the money: Referendum and AC materials

Following the money: Referendum and AC materials

We've been collecting documents to supplement our reporting about the upcoming Hillsborough sales tax referendum and thought we would share them here. This post will be updated.First: Facebook Live video of Superintendent Jeff Eakins' first town hall...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Mental health provider that evaluated Nikolas Cruz picked to service charter schools

Mental health provider that evaluated Nikolas Cruz picked to service charter schools

Florida's largest charter school membership organization announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's former mental health care provider to render services to schools.Broward County's Henderson Behavioral Heal...
Published: 09/20/18
Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Plato Academy Trinity has told parents and students it's targeting Oct. 1 to open its new building on Old County Road 54.It still has several permits to obtain if it wants to meet that latest deadline.The Pasco County charter school, serving about 25...
Published: 09/20/18
Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Florida's two major party candidates for governor have released their education platforms, and they couldn't have offered a more distinct choice.With the exception of wanting to expand career and technical education, and to pay teachers better, Repub...
Published: 09/20/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County teachers and staff continue to press for raises in the district's budget, getting only board promises to keep looking for funding. One School Board member urges his colleagues to make pay a top priority.RED TIDE: T...
Published: 09/20/18
Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Recess and physical education classes at two south Pinellas County schools were moved inside this week due to Red Tide, a toxic algae that continues to plague area beaches with throngs of dead fish and an unmistakable foul odor.Pr...
Published: 09/19/18