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Education Commissioner Outlines Plans for Standards, School Grades, Evaluations and Privacy

StateImpact (01/08/2014) O'Connor, John

Speaking before the Florida Senate Education Committee, State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart talked about 40 changes that could be made to the state's K-12 standards, including the teaching of cursive writing and the use of decimals when counting money. She said the changes were minor and have little impact on students, teachers, and administrators preparing for the final switch to the Common Core in the fall. The department's plans for adjusting to the new standards will include the selection of a new statewide test, altering the state's school grading system and teacher evaluation rules, and protecting student data. She also noted that school grades in the 2014-15 school year will be reset as the state begins using the new test this year and will become the benchmark for future school grading. School grading will emphasize how well students score on state tests, whether their scores are improving, and graduation, and all school grades will be issued at the same time starting in the summer of 2016. Stewart also will recommend a test choice in March. "The reason you want field testing to occur is really of benefit to the testing company. If we select an assessment that has been appropriately vetted ... whether or not our students in Florida have practiced on that test is not significant," she says.
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