54 percent of PBC 3 grade pass state reading test – and that’s an improvement

Palm Beach County’s third graders have made gains on Florida’s statewide reading exam, but they still aren’t passing at the rates of their peers across the state and almost half didn’t pass and will have to prove themselves in order to be promoted to fourth grade.

The school district landed a 54 percent passing rate on what is known as the Florida Standards Assessment of English language arts, a two point gain over last year that still leaves it short of the improved state average of 58 percent, according to data released Friday by the state’s Department of Education.

The test is a gatekeeper to fourth grade, and state officials said they released the scores early so that districts can make promotion decisions and plan summer camps for students who didn’t pass.

While the exam is the primary route to promotion, the state allows schools to consider other material when they decide a student’s fate.

Students can be promoted if a portfolio of their work indicates they are proficient enough to move on. They can also be promoted based on scores from other tests, including the computer-based diagnostics of iReady, a tool now used in classrooms across the county.

Of more than 130 elementary schools in the county, including charter schools, 16 had passing rates at or under 25 percent.  That includes four of seven traditional public elementary schools in the Glades communities and several other schools outside that region with high poverty rates.

Pahokee Elementary turned in the poorest performance in a district-run traditional school, with only 14 percent passing.  That’s down 20 percent from last year – the biggest drop in any school passing rate.

Click here to read our full report.

 

How should student accountability work in Florida? FDOE taking public input

surveyNow that No Child Left Behind has been scratched and new federal rules adopted in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Florida must revisit its education accountability plan to meet the new rules.

To that end, the Florida Department of Education is collecting the public’s input through July 22 on how the state’s plan should look.

When the comment period is over, the DOE will use the input to draft a state plan that it will post online for 30 days during which it will take public comment. The goal is to give the State Board of Education information to build a legislative platform that details needed changes in the law by September.

The passage of ESSA moved the burden of figuring out how to ensure schools prepare students for college and careers from the federal level to the states.

It continues to require annual statewide testing in math and English language arts in grades 3 through 8 and once again in high school, as well as testing in science three times. (Florida law currently extends testing beyond that list.)

And scores must still be parsed by schools and also by various “subgroups” of students, including racial minorities, English learners and those living in poverty.

States must decide how to define schools that are failing and how to fix them.

Up for discussion, adopting measures of student success other than testing, how to use money set aside for the schools performing in the bottom 5 percent and how to address the progress of English-language learners.

 

The FDOE timeline for ESSA: 

June 20 to July 22, 2016: FDOE will begin taking public comment online to receive input on what Florida’s state plan should include, based on ESSA.

• September 2016: The State Board of Education will adopt the legislative platform, which will include any statutory changes needed to comply with ESSA.

• By the end of 2016: FDOE expects to receive final regulations from USED.

• At a date yet to be determined, Florida’s ESSA state plan will be posted for public comment for at least 30 days, prior to its due date to USED.

• Early 2017: ESSA offers an opportunity for FDOE to consolidate federal programs funding applications. We anticipate providing training on a new application.

• Spring 2017: During the 2017 Legislative Session, any necessary legislative changes will be pursued.

• Summer or Fall of 2017: If necessary based on any legislative changes, the State Board of Education rule making process will commence.

The department has said the dates could change.

FDOE is taking questions about ESSA at ESSA@fldoe.org.

 

Florida test scores, end of course exam results due this week

cap-and-diploma-533027-mSchool may be out for summer, but final grades for most high schoolers are not. They can’t be calculated until the scores come back on Florida’s various end-of-course exams, which by law must account for 30 percent of a course grade.

The courses:  Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Biology, U.S. History and Civics.

By law, those scores (and the Florida Standards Assessment results) are supposed to be released this week – the week of June 8.

Some have expressed concern for some of the more than 12,000 students who graduated in recent weeks. Right now, their transcripts are stamped “unofficial.” Are they able to proceed to college courses this summer without a final grade?

Palm Beach State College spokeswoman Grace Truman says they can at PBSC.

“We give them an override for two semesters because they can enroll now for the fall as well,” Truman said. “We don’t wait for them to have it in hand. In the past, we’d make them wait until Summer B (the second session of summer classes), but we don’t even do that now.”

Truman said PBSC, which began summer classes May 16, counts nearly 21,000 students enrolled this summer, a four percent growth over last year. That is contrary to what she said was a statewide trend of lower enrollments.

Florida Atlantic University officials say they too are OK with graduates enrolling in summer with unofficial transcripts.

Is there a statewide policy for the institutions in the state university system? No. Each university is handling it locally. “Our feedback from the universities admissions directors is that this is not an issue – they work with the student,” a spokeswoman from the State University System of Florida said in an email Thursday morning.

Didn’t pass Alg 1 EOC (or the 10g FSA )? Here are your options

questions

 

Update March 2017: The testing season is in full swing with Alg 1 testing possible in Palm Beach County from April 17 through May 12, 2017. Expect results in early June.

The Alg 1 end-of-course exam (EOC) is the only state-required EOC a student must pass to graduate. Students must also take EOCs in Geometry, Alg. 2, biology and US History. The scores must weigh 30 percent of the calculation of a course grade, but a passing score is not required. (Legislation this spring proposes to cut some EOCs, but any testing changes would not be in effect this year.)

The other must-pass test for graduation: 

The 10th grade FSA ELA – that’s Florida Standards Assessment in English language arts, is the other state-mandated test students must pass to graduate.

So, let’s say you don’t pass…

WHAT’S NEXT?

Didn’t pass the Algebra 1 end-of-course exam or the 10th grade English/language arts test? These are your alternatives:

Take the same test and pass. Retakes are given several times a year.

Algebra 1: Get a comparative score of 97 on the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test or PERT mathematics assessment.

10 grade English/language arts:

Take the same test and pass. Retakes are given during the school year.

ELA: Get a concordant score of 430 on the SAT reading or 19 on the ACT reading.

Source: The Florida Department of Education.