The Florida Board of Education has approved more rigorous learning standards for students in the state's voluntary pre-kindergarten program.
The standards address the development of language, cognitive, emotional, social and other basic skills. The education board is in the process of raising standards across the state's voluntary pre-kindergarten program, including increasing the percentage of students who test as kindergarten ready and taking action against providers who don't meet those benchmarks.
The board, which met Tuesday in Miami, also discussed several potential policy changes, including the state's application for a waiver from federal No Child Left Behind requirements and challenges in implementing the class-size law.
The application for a waiver is due to the U.S. Department of Education by Nov. 14. Chancellor Michael Grego said Florida is set to be a leader in implementing a more flexible model aimed at improving and rewarding student growth.
The No Child Left Behind law requires all students to be proficient in math and reading by 2014, but states across the country, including Florida, are far from reaching the goal.