Lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to legislation aimed at rolling back testing for public school students in Florida, even as critics argued the wide-ranging measure doesn’t go far enough to ease the burdens of high-stakes exams.
For years, debates about holding Florida teachers and schools accountable followed a predictable pattern: Democrats and teachers unions criticized the plans as being too heavily reliant on standardized testing, while Republicans pushed through the plans and insisted that measuring student progress ensures children will learn. This year, the terms of the debate have changed.
After years of confusion, a measure that would overhaul Florida’s school grading system and get schools ready for new tests is headed to the House floor after receiving overwhelming approval at its final committee stop.
Parents in Florida will be able to get a closer look at how more than 100,000 teachers across the state are doing after the release of performance scores on Monday.
During a stop at an Orlando area school on Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott unveiled a proposal which would give a pay increase of $2,500 to every full time teacher in the state.
There is another change coming for students in Florida who are already tired of all the statewide standardized tests they have to take every year. Now, Florida’s schools are adopting uniform academic standards shared with most other states.
On Friday night Governor Rick Scott met with leaders of Florida’s teachers union for the first time since taking office.
The Florida House and Senate approved a number of bills Monday to expand virtual schools and voucher programs, potentially siphoning more students away from traditional public schools.