Gradebook’s Jeff Solochek provides the link to Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson’s letter to the state’s parents. While observers of Florida education policy will find much to challenge, it is these two paragraphs which are most critical to Robinson and his handlers:
The combination of changes to Florida’s accountability system will cause a temporary drop in some school grades. However, we can also expect student performance to improve as it did in 2007 when Florida made revisions to the school grading formula. At first, the number of A and B schools fell from about 2,000 to 1,952, but, in the two years that followed, A and B schools rose to 2,317.
Each time Florida’s school grading system has increased expectations, student performance has improved over time, which is the primary goal of Florida’s accountability system. Florida will continue to make the adjustments and investments necessary to ensure all students have the opportunity to get the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school and beyond.
Robinson’s focus and interpretation of school grades and test data cements him and his allies as the new status quoers and the one’s resisting change. As Robinson asserts that “each time Florida’s school grading system has increased expectations, student performance has improved over time,” he’ clearly telling parents that his FCAT data is as the Tampa Bay Times recently coined, the be-all, end-all. Parents and the state’s school boards are rejecting this and Robinson’s letter does nothing to stall that opposition.