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  • Before we dive in to the current issue, let’s take a step back and look at the history of our state’s school grading system.Florida has the oldest A-F grading system for schools in the country, and it’s starting to show its age.Over the last several years, there have been a slew of changes to the school grading formua — 16 since 2010. That’s made for a lot of controversy and left parents and citizens pretty confused about how schools are graded, and what those grades really mean.But here’s the good news: Right now, we have an invaluable opportunity to hit the reset button on school grades, and to make them more meaningful and stable going into the future. That’s because next year, our state transitioning to new math and language arts standards. Called the Florida Standards, they are set to be fully implemented in public schools throughout the state next school year. Moving to these new standards will mean that our students won’t take the FCAT any more, and will instead take a different test that measures how well they are performing against the new standards, which are part of an initiative to ensure that students throughout the country are held to the same high expectations.This transition to new standards and a new test gives our state a unique opportunity to reset school accountability systems at the same time.
  • So why is it so important that school grades be accurate and meaningful?Well, in short, it’s because they are used in so many different ways.First of all, we use them. Our recent poll found that it by far the most often used factor in evaluating a school. Like it or not, people do use school grades, and so it’s important that they be calculated in the right way.In addition, schools receive financial bonuses from the state for good performance on school grades. And they receive penalties for poor school grades (describe accountability sanctions). In addition, many districts use school grades for their own accountability measures.So although they are still used so frequently, all the changes to the grading system has sown confusion and mistrust. It’s important that the state use this opportunity to modernize the school grading system and make it more stable in the future. How do we do that?
  • That’s the subject of our latest policy brief, Understanding and Updating School Grades for Florida’s Future.The brief really takes a step back and looks at all of the ways that we could have a more accurate, modern grading system. (Just a couple of remarks on the recommendations.)Since the brief was released in early January, a lot has happened. This issue is taking center stage in the entities that really have responsibility for this issue: the Florida Department of Education, and the state Legislature.
  • Hand it over to Jason for description of this and the next three slides
  • Jason to hand it back over to Trey to talk about what he’s heard in Tallahassee.
  • So what are the key issues on the horizon right now?
  • For example, right now in the current model: college readiness & accelerated coursework worth 31% of possible points in HS formula. Proposed model: college readiness & accelerated coursework worth 10% of possible points in HS formula.

Transcript

  • 1. S Understanding and Updating School Grades for Florida’s Future Jacksonville Public Education Fund March 10, 2014 www.jaxpef.org/SchoolGrades
  • 2. About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent nonprofit organization that works to inform and mobilize the community to advocate for universally high-quality public education for all children in Duval County. Presenters •  Trey Csar, President •  Dr. Jason Rose, Director of Data & Research •  Deirdre Conner, Director of Advocacy & Communications •  Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools
  • 3. Background o  School grades were introduced in Florida in 1999, the first A-F model for reporting school accountability in the nation. o  Numerous changes to the standards, tests, and formula over time have caused confusion over what school grades actually mean. o  Florida is implementing new standards and adopting a new assessment, making this the right time to update the school grading system.
  • 4. Why is this important? o  In a recent survey conducted by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund through UNF Survey Research Center, 42% of respondents polled said school grades would be the most important thing to them in considering a school to enroll a child in – more than personal recommendations or any other factor. o  Significant rewards and accountability sanctions are tied to school grade performance for schools and districts. o  Numerous changes have caused confusion and mistrust over what grades mean. Now is the time to make grades stable and meaningful moving forward.
  • 5. inBRIEF: Winter 2014 Understanding and Updating School Grades for Florida’s Future Download at www.jaxpef.org/SchoolGrades
  • 6. What’s happening at the Florida Department of Education o  January 8: Florida Education Commissioner, Pam Stewart, introduces outline for planned changes to school accountability model at Senate Education Committee meeting. o  February 18: Commissioner presents more detailed proposal for changes to school accountability model at state Board of Education meeting. Board also approves new Florida Standards at same meeting. o  February 20: Commissioner presents new plan to House Education Committee. o  March 18: Commissioner expected to select new statewide assessment.
  • 7. Proposed transition timeline Source: Florida Department of Education
  • 8. Florida Department of Education Proposal o  Focus on student success measures such as student achievement, graduation rate and learning gains o  Report A-F grades based on the percentage of total points earned rather than a point total o  Reset grading scale to require a rigorous standard be met and avoid compression issues in current scale o  Periodic review of the scale o  Release grades for all schools in the summer
  • 9. Current & Proposed (FLDOE) School Grades Formula: Elementary Schools Category Current Formula* FDOE Proposed Formula** Proficiency (Reading - All)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Math - All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Writing – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✖ Proficiency (Science – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Reading – All)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Math – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Reading – Lowest 25%)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Math – Lowest 25%) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Total Scale 0 - 800 pts. 0 – 100% (x/700) * - School is lowered one letter grade below below what point total indicates if: •  Fewer tham 50% of Lowest 25% demonstrate gains in reading and mathematics (or show annual improvement) •  Fewer than 25% of students are reading at or above grade level •  Fewer than 95% of eligible students are tested, and school earned enough for an “A” ** - No additional rules *** - Reading & Writing combined as “English/Language Arts” in new assessment
  • 10. Current & Proposed (FLDOE) School Grades Formula: Middle Schools Category Current Formula* FDOE Proposed Formula** Proficiency (Reading - All)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Math - All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Writing – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✖ Proficiency (Science – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Social Studies – All) ✖ ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Reading – All)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Math – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Reading – Lowest 25%)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Math – Lowest 25%) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Accelerated Coursework (Participation) ✔ (0 - 50 pts.) ✖ Accelerated Coursework (Performance) ✔ (0 - 50 pts.) ✖ Total Scale 0 - 900 pts. 0 – 100% (x/800) * - School is lowered one letter grade below below what point total indicates if: •  Fewer tham 50% of Lowest 25% demonstrate gains in reading and mathematics (or show annual improvement) •  Fewer than 25% of students are reading at or above grade level •  Fewer than 95% of eligible students are tested, and school earned enough for an “A” ** - No additional rules *** - Reading & Writing combined as “English/Language Arts” in new assessment
  • 11. Current & Proposed (FLDOE) School Grades Formula: High Schools Category Current Formula* FDOE Proposed Formula** Proficiency (Reading - All)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Math - All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Writing – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✖ Proficiency (Science – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Proficiency (Social Studies – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Reading – All)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Math – All) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Reading – Lowest 25%)*** ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Learning Gains (Math – Lowest 25%) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Accelerated Coursework (Participation) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✖ Accelerated Coursework (Performance) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Graduation Rate (Overall, 4-year) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✔ (0 – 100%) Graduation Rate (Overall, 5-year) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✖ Graduation Rate (At-risk, 4-year) ✔ (0 - 50 pts.) ✖ Graduation Rate (At-Risk, 4-year) ✔ (0 - 50 pts.) ✖ College Readiness (Reading) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✖ College Readiness (Math) ✔ (0 - 100 pts.) ✖ Total Scale 0 - 1600 pts. 0 – 100% (x/1000) * - Ibid. ** - Ibid. *** - Ibid.
  • 12. FLDOE Proposal: Feedback Positive Steps o  Resetting grade scale to improve stability, meaningfulness of grades o  Acknowledging need to establish scheduled, periodic review of scale and components o  Elimination of extraneous bonuses and penalties o  Suspension of sanctions attached to “baseline grades” in first year. Concerns o  Insufficient transition time to calculate and communicate baseline grades in new system o  Lacks consideration about improving measurement & use of growth o  Elimination of individual components: o  College readiness (Reading) o  College readiness (Math) o  Accelerated coursework (Participation) o  Graduation rate (At-risk students) o  Potential use of old data for HS grades
  • 13. State Legislative Updates o  Senate Education Committee bill (SB 1642) mostly reflects Florida Department of Education proposal. o  Amendment to return credit for middle school accelerated coursework participation & performance added. o  Alternate bill (SB 1368) filed Feb. 27 by Sen. Montford seeking to implement a three year transition plan, delaying school grades until 2017-2018. o  House Education Committee held School Accountability workshop on March 6. Expected to file bill for approval at March 12 meeting.
  • 14. What’s next? o  Formula Issues: o  Return increased focus on college readiness & at-risk graduation to school grades o  Reconsider options how student growth is measured and used as an emphasis in school accountability o  Implementation & Alignment Issues: o  Establish review “window” (ideally 5 years) o  How will alignment of teacher, school & district evaluation measures be addressed?
  • 15. What’s next? o  Transition Issues: o  How will learning gains will be calculated for proposed “baseline year” grades without two administrations of the new assessment? o  Implement a full one-year transition period o  Increase public understanding and trust o  Time to improve the way growth is measured and used, and better align teacher and school accountability systems o  Ensure the transition to measuring growth on a new assessment is meaningful and sound o  Graduation rates, scores, other data would continue to be released o  Consider approaches used in other states facing similar transitions such as Texas
  • 16. Questions
  • 17. How to Get Involved o  Be informed: o  Download the brief o  Stay abreast of current developments on the blog o  Be heard: o  Write your elected lawmakers – visit the site to connect to an easy- to-use tool o  Share this information with your friends, neighbors and coworkers Find all of these resources and more online at www.jaxpef.org/SchoolGrades
  • 18. Thank You! www.jaxpef.org/SchoolGrades