From Florida, a state where ed reform is almost completely out of control, two stories.
The first is a continuing issue of Florida's insistence on testing all students, even the most severely disabled.
From the Washington Post' Answer Sheet blog:
This video shows children with profound disabilities taking a
standardized test called the Florida Alternate Assessment as required by
the state but opposed by many of their teachers and parents. And below
is a letter from the principal of another school serving students with
similar disabilities explaining why forcing these youngsters to take the
test is wrong.
I also have written about a boy named Michael, who was born without a
complete brain yet still must take the Florida Alternate Assessment (here and here, for example).
From the Daily Kos:
TALLAHASSEE — Without a word of debate Friday, the Florida House
approved a controversial proposal that could require school districts to
share tens of millions of dollars in construction funds with rival
The bill that passed Friday would ensure charter schools receive
about 40 percent of the amount traditional public schools can raise for
construction and maintenance, Fresen said.
If the state does not provide enough money in the budget, as it has
done in recent years, the school districts would have to make up the
difference with their tax revenue.
And again, keep
all this mind as BTA IV comes into play because any charter in Seattle
before the election (First Place Scholars) will be able to claim their
share of those dollars. First Place is supposed to be part of the
levy planning and funding distribution but I don't know when/how that is
happening. Maybe the district is crossing its fingers First Place will
close. (Summit Sierra will not be eligible as it will not start up -
even though its charter has been approved - until after the levy passage. )
The bill was one of four high-profile education proposals that won the
support of the Republican-dominated House to end the week. The others
•Ease the penalties for schools that fail to comply with the constitutionally mandated limits on class size.
•Create a pilot program to give principals more control over hiring and budget decisions.
•Encourage school districts to adopt mandatory school uniform policies for children in grades K-8 by offering incentive money.
All of the Democrats in attendance voted against the charter school bill, HB 7037. But none debated the measure on the floor