1. The Education Gradebook

Florida activists keep pressing for more support of ELL, ESE students

Still frustrated by inaction at the Florida Department of Education, the LULAC Florida Council has formed an Educators for Inclusive Leadership Council to keep pushing for changes to the state's school grading system.

The group recently sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, urging him to force the DOE to adopt measures that would take into consideration the special nature of students still learning English, and those with special learning needs, as related to test-taking and achieving grade-level proficiency. Throughout the winter and spring, activists raised concerns that these children should be given a chance to show what they know, and not be penalized because their literacy skills hinder their ability to demonstrate their content knowledge.

A special DOE task force generated a couple dozen proposals to take such issues into consideration. Only five went to the State Board.

"For these students, the Action Plan is already crafted and now needs action," the new council wrote. "The consequences of not doing so could prove disastrous for our students. As you may know many of these students are victims of bullying as it is, and the consequences of the changes in accountability will cause further marginalization."

The members encouraged Scott to enter the discussion before the state's No Child Left Behind waiver request, which had deficiencies, is formally reconsidered by the federal government. That deadline is July 15.