1. Florida

Florida testing cut scores will wait on validity study, Department of Education says

In recent days, some Florida education activists have begun questioning why the Department of Education would begin its standard-setting process for state tests before an ongoing validity study is complete.

Department officials tell the Gradebook that isn't going to happen.

"We are going to wait until the validity study comes out," spokeswoman Cheryl Etters said. "That may affect it."

For now, panels of educators and other experts are scheduled to begin reviewing documents in early September, with public rule development workshops to take place in mid-September. (You can track these rule developments on this website.)

After these reviews, commissioner Pam Stewart would bring a recommendation to the State Board of Education for consideration.

The validity study, being conducted by Alpine Testing Solutions with edCount LLC, is due to the department on Aug. 28. The groups have been tight lipped about their findings to this point, but have warned that the final report won't carry a simple "valid" or "invalid" mark.

Perhaps the key area that will attract the most attention will be the overview of test administration this spring. That's where the bulk of the problems cropped up, and the reason many critics have claimed the results should be considered flawed or unreliable.

If the results are not considered usable, that outcome would impact how -- or if -- cut scores are set. Stay tuned.