Influential Miami-Dade Superintendent Finds Selection of New Florida Tests “Insufficient”

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Florida Public Employees


March 21, 2014

By  – Scathing Purple Musings

StateImpact reporter John O’Connor has this:

Miami-Dade schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the process by which Florida chose a new statewide exam was ‘insufficient’ and he questioned whether the test from the American Institutes for Research will be right for Florida. StateImpact Florida’s Sammy Mack caught up with Carvalho today.

In particular, Carvalho was concerned the exam would be field-tested in Utah — but not Florida — prior to use in Sunshine State schools.

“I don’t need to explain the differences between population diversity in Utah versus the state of Florida,” said Carvalho, who last month was named thenational superintendent of the year by the School Superintendents Association. “So, I find it insufficient from a statistical perspective, from a fairness prospective and even, perhaps, a legal perspective with so much riding on this exam.”

On a “legal perspective,” too? Not sure what Carvalho is getting at there.

But Carvalho isn’t the only high-profile superintendent taking issue with AIRs Utah field test. O’Connor writes that one-time Florida Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, now Pasco schools boss  and Hillsborough’s MaryEllen Elia have also objected publicly.

This is not insignificant opposition. Not only is it representative of the state’s superintendents, it likely reflects that of local school boards. Moreover, the topic will eventually draw the involvement of  three state senators who drive accountability policy in Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) John Legg (R-Lutz) and Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

Florida’s new “not pause, but delay one-year” school grade policy doesn’t sound so swell now, does it? SB 1642 is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee where Montford has a seat. It will be the last time for testimony to be heard before it reaches the floor. Look for more than one superintendent to show up to talk about that Utah field test. And maybe even some of those Common Core opponents, too, who have been getting the brush-off from Florida republican pols.

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