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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Bill changes school grading system in Florida

After a major controversy this year about Florida’s school-accountability system, a House Democrat filed a bill Tuesday that seeks to revamp school grades.

The bill (HB 903), filed by Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, calls, in part, for holding in abeyance school grades for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. Also, it would require the State Board of Education by July 1, 2017, to “adopt and implement a school grading system that is demonstrably equitable, reliable, timely, rigorous, affordable, and rationally funded.”

The bill, which is filed for the 2016 legislative session, also would take aim at statewide assessments given to students during the two academic years. It would bar the use of the assessments for things such as decisions about student promotions and teacher evaluations.

The controversy has focused on the Florida Standards Assessment, which was plagued with technical problems this spring, including computer glitches and a cyberattack. State education officials said in September that a study upheld the validity of the test, allowing it to be used for purposes such as calculating school grades.

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