Florida Threatens to Hold Students Who Opt Out

palm-tree-2095813_960_720Two Florida school districts–Sarasota and Manatee–have warned parents their children will not be promoted if they opt out of state testing. The only way to opt out of the state test is to take a state test before opting out. Alice in Wonderland? Even students who have earned high marks all year will […]

via Florida: School Districts Threaten to Hold Back Students Who Opt Out — Diane Ravitch’s blog

Florida educational policy and school system both put great effort into making sure that they fail an enormous number of students. Starting with 3rd grade end of the year reading test mandatory retention, automatic promotion of ELL students regardless of their readiness to master current year’s curriculum, or the lack of actual special education intervention. What most parents do? Most parents pull kids out of their local public school and place them in charter schools, where if they fail the reading test, the school substitutes a “portfolio” of work to justify promotion into 4th grade. Nonetheless, schools do very little to help kids who fail the 3rd grade reading test catch up. The same students still have reading trouble in 5th grade, 8th grade, 10th grade, … English language learners can fail every test and be promoted to the next grade since they are ELL. This gives everyone a pass to put their hands up in defeat; parents, teachers, and students. What happens to ELL students in our county, they eventually (middle school) drop out. Kids who receive special education services have to show the smallest progress to actually receive any services. None of these services are actually serious. They are insufficient in depth or scope to help students catch up. To add to this misery, most schools have minimal electives and no recess. A formula that makes every student and teacher completely miserable. Florida education is an oxymoron.

Grade: Unsatisfactory

Lena, M.Ed.


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