Tony Bennett-Prioritizes Common Core-PARCC in School Grade Recommendations

In his letter detailing his recommendations to the Florida BOE Commissioner Tony Bennett wrote:

…….Between now and the 2012-2015 school year the biggest issue confronting our schools is the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I believe every action we take in the intervening period of the time before the rollout of new assessments aligned to CCSS must be done with this in mind. This is especially true with regard to our state’s accountability framework a model that has rightfully earned both accolades and admiration from across the nation.


Scathing Purple Musings has detailed how invested Bennett is in the success of Common Core-PARCC. And it’s becoming clear that the “rollout” of Bennett’s baby around the country is mirroring that of Obamacare.  Miami Herald reporter David Smiley has this on Bennett’s two recommendations:

The Florida Department of Education on Friday published  a memo from Education Commissioner Tony Bennett to State Board of Education members in which he urged that they bring back a so-called safety net that will keep school rankings from dropping by more than one letter grade. He also recommended that they end a controversial practice of transferring test scores of students attending special education centers back to their home schools.

Bennett’s recommendations follow recent warnings that Florida’s attempts to increase the rigor of its grading formula in the last two years had resulted in too many changes over too short a period. Superintendents and education officials cautioned that as a result school grades were likely to plummet beyond reasonable expectations despite stable or in some cases even increased testing performance

Bennett’s recommendations are all about political expediency. He admits as much in his letter:

The department (FLDOE) understands the superintendents’ concern that multiple changes to performance expectations grade calculations and other variables within the calculations on a short timeline may have contributed to a reduction in clarity of the system. However similar issues will likely be in play in the 2015-2016 with a revamped accountability model and higher performance of CCSS. As such complexity does not provide a rationale for  safety net as the multi-faceted nature lf schooling will require the consideration of multiple variables in assigning letter grades. I believe the transition to CCSS will be an opportunity to provide greater transparency in our state accountability system.

Bennett’s doesn’t say how “CCSS will be an opportunity to provide greater transparency in our state accountability system” but he’s clearly kicking the can down the road. He’s wants to postpone any school grade drama now only to bring it back when his baby gets implemented.

Florida politicians – including Bennett and the state board – change the rules that students teachers and schools live by each year to justify their devotion to Jeb Bush’s bad idea. Now they want to change the game and obviously intend to continue their pattern of making up the rules as they go along.





About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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