Leon County School Board Discusses Changes to Testing Requirements, Turnaround Process

Leon County School Board Discusses Changes to Testing Requirements, Turnaround Process

The Leon County School Board discussed new legislation impacting Leon County Schools at the February 25 Board meeting.

HB 7079 and SB 1498 are expected to change the state’s current testing requirements and redefine the turnaround process.

Lobbyist Jessica Janasiewicz said HB 7079 would eliminate the geometry end-of-course exam and the ninth grade ELA exam and replace them with the SAT and ACT for eleventh graders.

She noted that there may be a house bill appropriation to pay for the change.

Janasiewicz said it is yet to be determined if the SAT and ACT scores would be counted as school grades.

“We know the SAT and ACT are not designed to assess the Florida standards, either our current standards or the new ones that we’re going to have, so we’ve made the argument that that’s not really fair to include that in the school grade because that’s not what we’re teaching,” she said.

SB 1498 includes revisions to the turnaround process for underperforming schools.

Currently, according to FLDOE, a school that receives a yearly “F” grade or two consecutive “D” grades is required to enter a turnaround plan.

The new legislation would change the definition to only one “D”.

“You can imagine the impact that would be statewide, how many more schools would be a part of that process,” Janasiewicz said.

In Leon County, Bond Elementary School, Riley Elementary School, and Griffin Middle School received “D” grades in 2019.

The bill also includes an amendment that allows school districts to close schools that do not improve to a “C” grade, re-purpose them as charter schools, or contract external operators to run the schools.

17 Responses to "Leon County School Board Discusses Changes to Testing Requirements, Turnaround Process"

  1. Avatar
    Old Voter   March 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Will the changes make it easier for underachieving students to graduate?
    Will the changes make it easier for underachieving schools to avoid closure or repurposing?

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Anon   March 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    “We know the SAT and ACT are not designed to assess the Florida standards, either our current standards or the new ones that we’re going to have, so we’ve made the argument that that’s not really fair to include that in the school grade because that’s not what we’re teaching,”

    So LCSB is not getting our students ready for college? You don’t get into college without the ACT or SAT. Shame.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Rosemary N. Palmer   March 10, 2020 at 10:05 am

      Using already established tests of competence should eliminate all “teaching to the test” and therefore excuses for students not mastering the standards. (Though we all know that there is a culture/industry that has grown up around those tests too where parents pay big bucks to get them taught ACT/SAT, usually for retakes.)

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Anon   March 10, 2020 at 4:15 pm

        So true, Rosemary. Even parents paying for fake scores, like the actress Felicity Huffman. On what basis, then, should we base a school’s effectiveness (grade)?

        Reply
      • Avatar
        TONY   March 11, 2020 at 9:27 am

        Better YET….. I had a couple of Teachers in my Family and they both told me that they had to have their Lesson Plan pre-Approved before the School Year started. When I was in School, we had a big Test at the end of the 6 Week Period for the first two 6 Week Periods of the first Semester and for the 3rd 6 Week Period, we had a bigger Test that covered that Whole Semester. For the second Semester, same thing only at the end of the final 6 Week Period, it was a HUGE Test on what we learned for the WHOLE Year. Not sure if they still do that now as I graduated in 1979. Let the Teachers TEACH and test the Students on what they LEARNED.

        Reply
  3. Avatar
    Mark   March 9, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    We can brace ourselves for another round of blaming the test from Rosanne and Rocky instead of putting resources into schools.

    With salaries like $123,000 for Allen Cox, $106,00 for Scott Hansen $123,000 for Kathleen Rodgers and $116,000 for Gregory, let’s see in 3 months these people individually make more than a teacher for an entire year. $37,000 for a beginning teacher who has to interview, $100,000 for political buddies of Rocky Hanna.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Tiger   March 9, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Does being an employee/lobbyist constitute a “financial interest”? If so should DeeDee be removed by the Governor or do ALL the vendors she represents have to ABSTAIN from work in LCS? SOLD YOUR VOTE?

    https://tallahasseereports.com/2020/01/23/lcs-school-board-member-will-not-vote-on-construction-related-issues/#comments

    Florida State Statute: 1001.42?Powers and duties of district school board.
    (i)?Contracts for materials, supplies, and services.—Contract for materials, supplies, and services needed for the district school system. No contract for supplying these needs shall be made with any member of the district school board, with the district school superintendent, or with any business organization in which any district school board member or the district school superintendent has any financial interest whatsoever.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    EZ   March 9, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    The pay for School Board should be a reflection of the grades the schools get. What exactly do these people do again?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Rosemary N. Palmer   March 10, 2020 at 10:08 am

      School Board members guide policy — they don’t deliver instruction. And in our district we have an elected Superintendent which means that the person may or may not implement such policy as School Board members want them to do.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        EZ   March 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm

        So help me make sure I understand your statement- are you saying the School Board’s policies are divorced from the performance of the schools? Is the principal not accountable to the School Board? Is the School Board ultimately responsible for the Schools? (Thus the name SCHOOL BOARD)

        Reply
  6. Avatar
    TONY   March 10, 2020 at 7:17 am

    If you are not teaching towards the SAT and ACT in High School, What ARE you teaching towards?

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    AS   March 10, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Mark, can’t help but notice that you always leave the highest paid Assistant Superintendent off your list – Michelle Gayle a friend of yours?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Mimi   March 11, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      She is a nice person and has social skills. That’s probably why.

      Reply
  8. Avatar
    Mike L   March 11, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Just look at that picture…. a larger group of morons has never been assembled in our county.

    What a disgrace, being morbidly obese, bald, and poorly dressed are not qualifications for the school board!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Anon   March 11, 2020 at 10:13 am

      Moron= Greek ‘moros’->dull, IQ of 50-70, phrase coined in 1910 for the psychology profession.

      Not an accurate refelection, if you want to be realistic. The other adjectives, just mean and low-quality.

      Now idiot- thats a different ballgame and a debatably worthy term here.
      Idiot= Greek ‘idios’-> one lacking in professional skill

      Reply
      • Avatar
        EZ   March 11, 2020 at 1:14 pm

        Aren’t you the same one who called them Ivory Tower thugs?

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Anon   March 11, 2020 at 3:32 pm

          I stand by the name: from the Ivory Tower,wagging fingers at citizens addressing concerns about public schools.

          Thug: Sanskrit ‘thag’-> swindler, deceiver, fraudulent

          Reply

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