This Video Update features FSBA President Patty Hightower discussing the events and value of the FSBA Day in the Legislature Conference; FSBA Legislative Committee Chair Carol Cook discussing the main House and Senate bills relating to Assessment & Accountability — HB 7069 & SB 616; and FSBA Interim Executive Director Bill Graham discussing bills relating to the school start date – HB 349 & SB 688 and HB 7069. (See below the video for advocacy tips and tools on these issues.)
In response to a public outcry from students, parents, school board members, superintendents, educators, and others, the Legislature has recognized that revisions to the state’s assessment and accountability system are necessary. Among many concerns that have been expressed are concerns about over-testing, inappropriate use of assessment results, educator evaluation systems, timelines or transition to new standards and assessments, and the availability of necessary technological infrastructure. Several bills have been filed that address one or more of these concerns, but the primary bills that have received attention to date are HB 7069 and SB 616.
Action Requested: Please contact your legislators to ask them to support revisions to state and local accountability systems that support and enhance student learning, that eliminate unnecessary testing, that provide alternative pathways for students to demonstrate progress and proficiency, and that provide sufficient time and infrastructure for successful implementation of new assessments.
- Comparison of HB 7069 and SB 616 — 3/7/15
- FSBA Resolution on Assessment & Accountability
- Email Addresses for House Members
- Email Addresses for Senate Members
Current law sets the school start date as no earlier than 14 days before Labor Day. This limitation on the opening of schools has raised concerns about providing sufficient time for students to complete the fall semester before the December holidays which, in turn, has negative impacts on student performance on post-holiday semester exams and student access to dual enrollment and/or career education opportunities in the second semester. In addition, this calendar limitation may not allow sufficient time to make up days lost due to hurricanes or other events. Three bills have been filed that attempt to address these, and other, concerns with each bill offering different revisions to current law: HB 349 sets the start date as no earlier than 21 days before Labor Day; SB 688 sets the school start date as no earlier than the 3rd Monday in August; and HB 7069 sets the school start date as no earlier than August 10.
Action Requested: Please contact your legislators to ask them to support efforts to revise the statutory school start date to ensure an opening date that provides sufficient time to allow students to complete the first semester, including completion of semester exams, prior to Christmas holiday and/or other federal holidays in December, and to provide sufficient time for necessary “make-up” days due to hurricanes or other events.