Good for John Legg. And good reporting by the Tampa Bay Times Jeff Solochek:
News that the Florida Department of Education has yet to set concordant scores between the FCAT 2.0 and the SAT and ACT for current high school juniors did not sit well with state Senate Education Policy Committee chairman John Legg.
Legg, who learned of the situation when reading a story in the Tampa Bay Times, shot off a letter (attached below) to new education commissioner Tony Bennett on Thursday urging him to solve the problem. Fast.
In it, Legg “strongly” recommended that the department allow all students to use the existing concordant scores to satisfy the state’s high school graduation requirements until officials can establish new scores. Raising standards and demanding rigor from students is important, Legg said. But so is fairness.
“Until the rules are established, you can’t leave people in this black hole of information,” Legg told the Gradebook. “We don’t want to harm kids.”
FLDOE spokeswoman Cynthia Sucher said that Bennett, who began his job on Monday, is familiar with the issue and is investigating his options. “It is an area he wants to be completely comfortable with” before drawing any conclusions, Sucher said.
Legg was hopeful that Bennett would respond in a way to help students. “I am cautiously optimistic this will fall on favorable ears,” he said
Legg’s letter can by linking Solochek’s story above. His proposal to allow existing concordant scores is the best option. High school seniors are now in their last semester of school and have already taken the ACT or SAT. Many are in a Catch-22 as deadlines for registering for the next test have passed. For Bennett to make any other decision is to take the side of tests over that of kids.