A Leon County circuit court judge has come down in favor of families challenging Florida’s third-grade retention practices, ruling that school districts ignored the children’s right to alternative forms of promotion and the state Department of Education allowed that to happen. In her order, Judge Karen Gievers highly criticized the Hernando County school district for its “illegal refusal” to allow students to have a portfolio option to demonstrate their reading abilities, as permitted in statute. Notably, she also included report cards “based on classroom work throughout the course of the school year” as an acceptable option.
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