1. Florida

Florida schools can rise to the challenge, board chair says

The Florida Board of Education spent several hours on Tuesday discussing possible changes to the state's school grading system. Some ideas were borne of statutory requirements, such as adding more criteria for middle schools, while others were part of the continuing trend to add more "rigor" to the mix.

One proposal, for instance, would have set a minimum percentage of students passing the reading FCAT in order for a school to be considered a passing school. In almost every iteration, the number of F schools would increase while the number of A schools would drop. See the simulations here. See the rest of the presentation here.

Each of the ideas will get a thorough vetting and input from the community. But it's a certainty that the rules will change, and they will not be simpler. Board chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said she's not concerned about a short-term drop in performance ratings.

"They'll figure out pretty quickly how to get back into the A category, and they'll get there," Shanahan said of educators. "They'll figure out how to increase their scores."

The rules are scheduled to come to the board for consideration in a month.