Broken promises: state late again

Another deadline has come and gone with districts still waiting for exam results from the state. The state promised districts a list of students in the bottom quintile of the Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 tests by June 8th. As of this writing, no results have been released. In late May, the Florida Department of Education announced that grades from state-required Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 end of course exams would not count in a student’s report card this year because results would arrive too late. However, passing the Algebra 1 exam is a graduation requirement; it must be passed to earn a diploma.

If the exam is deemed valid, students in the bottom quintile are likely to fail the exam. Districts usually have results in time to make arrangements for remediation, “boot camps” and exam re-takes in early summer. This year- many districts, in the absence of test data from the state, used class grades to predict exam failure and recommended summer programs and test re-takes to students with lower course results. However, it is a hard sell to tell students, “There’s a chance you failed the exam so you should probably take it again even though it might be ruled an invalid exam in a few months.”

Each day that passes without results makes the challenge greater for our schools to support their most struggling students. Numerous decisions are based on these scores and schools are at a standstill without direction from the Department of Education. A majority of districts work a four day week in the summer meaning the scores are now two full weeks late.

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