School grades to stay, Florida education chief says

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Public school superintendents hoping for a reprieve from the state’s polarizing school grading system won’t get any support from Florida’s education commissioner.

Commissioner Pam Stewart said flatly Tuesday that she is opposed to a request from local schools chiefs that the state suspend the issuance of school grades while grappling with new, controversial learning benchmarks and bringing in new statewide exams to replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

“I don’t think suspending school grading is the right thing to do for students,” Stewart said during a State Board of Education meeting held in the auditorium at Miami Lakes Educational Center.

Tuesday’s meeting was a precursor for an all-important State Board meeting in February, during which board members will hear Stewart’s recommendations for a revamped and “simplified” school grading formula, and vote on proposed revisions and a renaming of the Common Core State Standards. The standards, which set new expectations of what students need to learn by grade level, have been adopted by 45 states, including Florida.

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