The Foundation for Florida’s Future and Michael Petrilli, writing at The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, are defending Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett’s decision to change Indiana’s school grading formula while leading Hoosier State schools in 2012.
Metal crosses mark graves at the cemetery of the former Arthur Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. Investigators in Florida using ground-penetrating radar and soil samples say there are nearly 100 unmarked graves on the grounds.
Credit Bill Cotterell / Reuters/Landov
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., talks to reporters outside the so-called White House at the closed Dozier School for Boys in March, with University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle (at left) and Wansley Walters, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
Credit Edmund D. Fountain / MCT/Landov
Meredith Tise, a graduate anthropology student at the University of South Florida, measures the depth of a trench dug at the site of the cemetery last May, as the university looks for signs of unmarked graves.
Researchers at the University of South Florida are fighting with the state over access to the grounds of a now-closed reform school.
For decades, the Dozier School for Boys was notorious for the harsh treatment boys received there. Now, a forensic anthropologist and her team want permission to exhume dozens of bodies they found in unmarked graves, but are meeting resistance from state officials.
Florida legislators recently enacted what they call a safety net that ensures no school's performance drops more than one letter under the state's grading system. But despite students' academic improvement, there are a record number of F-rated schools this year.
An "A" was always the gold standard. Every student knows that the better the grade, the greater the reward, whether the reward is a gold star, a trophy or a scholarship.
It’s no different for schools. Since 1999, Florida schools have worked to measure student learning gains and to objectively measure teacher and school performance. An "A" school brings recognition, prestige and financial gain.
That’s because no school grade could drop by more than one letter grade this year. School superintendents asked for the protection because more than 30 factor in the formula have changed the past two years.
Add U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to those opposing shared education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.
The standards, known as Common Core, have been under fire from those on the political right and left. Conservatives argue the federal government coerced states with money to adopt the standards, undermining local control of education. Those on the left protest increased testing.
Earlier this week we published an email sent to Florida Republicans urging their support for Common Core State Standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states. The letter was signed by five former Republican Party of Florida chairmen, including American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas.