Reports Florida Today’s Mackenzie Ryan:
Brevard School Board members Thursday called on state leaders to overhaul a school accountability system that they say over- emphasizes and over-uses the FCAT as a measure of student, teacher, school and district performance. “It’s important to be accountable for student performance, it’s important to have standards. But it’s wrong to have one indicator be the Holy Grail,” School Board Member Andy Ziegler said. “Everything lives and dies by it.”
Thursday’s unanimous vote to approve a Florida School Boards Association resolution marks a commitment by the Brevard School Board to join the growing movement to change a system they say has gotten out of hand. Board members had previously expressed support for the movement; their vote formalizes that support. Concern about the FCAT expanded this spring when FCAT writing results showed that only 27 percent of fourth-graders statewide passed. An emergency decision by the state lowered the bar so more students passed, but the turn of events raised questions about the system’s trustworthiness.
Brevard’s resolution has more teeth than others. Included is a call to essentially dismantle Jeb Bush’s entire school grade system and Rick Scott’s teacher evaluation system SB736 with this point:
• Eliminate the practice of using student results on tests as the primary base for evaluating teacher, administrator, school and district performance.