Less than one in four schools meet all criteria for the federal No Child Left Behind act. The governor admits the mixed results mean Florida still has a lot of work to do.
More than two-thirds of Florida’s schools are now listed as A or B schools, thanks to students’ improving scores on FCAT tests.
Gov. Bush says teachers deserve a lot of the credit, “In Florida we’re committed to giving every child the quality education that they deserve and I’m really proud of the classroom teachers of this state.
Still, 49 schools got an F this year. Students in schools earning a second F are now eligible for vouchers to a private school.
Plus only two counties in the state, Leon and Wakulla, made “adequate yearly progress” under the federal no child left behind guidelines. Students in about a thousand of those schools may be eligible to transfer to another public school.
But critics say combining state and federal information and grades will only confuse parents, and make things more complicated for the schools.
However, the governor predicts there won’t be a massive shuffle, mainly because students can only transfer to a school that did meet the federal requirements, and so few of them do.
“There aren’t enough slots for students to move, nor is there any indication that that is the intent of parents. What they want is for the schools that their children go to, to improve.
Arrhea Williams is one principal who made it happen. After five straight years of Ds, her school pulled up to a B this year. She has advice for those still in struggling schools.
“Just hang in there. Just keep plugging because it will come. Don’t give up; just continue to give your best to the students.”
The state Department of Education will now require county school districts with “F” schools to put a new action plan in place.
- The districts must do whatever it takes to keep experienced teachers in the classroom
- The districts must adopt a special budget category for their “F” schools
- Districts must make sure unprepared students aren’t promoted to the next grade level
- Districts must develop individual student success plans for students who have fallen behind.
The state hopes in time, all its schools will make the grade.