Fla. lawmakers consider implementing new education reforms

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, March 3, 2014

Sweeping changes the Florida Legislature has made to education in recent years are likely to come to the forefront again during the upcoming session as lawmakers grapple with their implementation.

Contentious debate over Florida's adoption of the Common Core standards, a set of uniform benchmarks in language arts and math, appears to have simmered with the Board of Education's recent passage of several changes following public hearings and input from thousands of parents, teachers and education leaders around the state.

The Legislature could still make additional adjustments to the newly renamed Florida Standards, but any changes are expected to be minor. The next topic lawmakers are likely to focus on in the new session is how to best hold students, teachers and schools accountable. The state is required to implement a new test tied to the standards in the next school year, but many say that is too quick a timeline, especially given that the test has not been selected.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is expected to recommend a vendor for the test by the end of March. The new test would replace the current Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT.

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