Our state legislators claim that they see a problem with Florida’s education system, as outlined by Ms. Haithcock here.
Satisfying Florida’s graduation requirements — but not exceeding them — prepares high school students for one thing: remedial coursework at a community college, Frances Haithcock, state chancellor of K-12 public schools, told a panel of state lawmakers Wednesday.
“We are not transparent to our parents about what a diploma in Florida means,” she said.
Part of that problem involves math and science.
Florida’s math and science standards in particular are too vague and too low, she said. “There are four [required] courses in math — which is very good, except the most challenging course is Algebra I. There are science courses — three of them — not defined. That is unacceptable.”
But will lawmakers actually do something about this? It seems to always come back to $$$.
A similar proposal died in the Legislature last year, largely because of the cost of implementing such reforms. Developing just one end-of-course exam costs about $1.5 million.
Times have changed, Legg said, as has the proposal. For starters, he said, the FCAT phase-out in this year’s bill will produce savings, thereby off-setting some of the costs of the new course exams.
Legg acknowledged that there will be other associated costs, which staff analysts have yet to quantify. For example, since education leaders want to administer the end-of-course tests entirely by computer, schools will have new technology needs.
We just have to wait and see now. And communicating (writing, speaking) with your own legislators couldn’t hurt.