Florida's State Board of Education is coming down heavy on those 3 and 4-year- olds and the lousy teachers who are not holding these kids accountable for performing on standardized tests.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
The number of pre-K providers who fail their review and are deemed "low performing" under the new standards could hit 2,500, up from just under 800 this year, the Florida Department of Education estimated.
That means 39 percent could end up labeled as poor performers. Those providers would have to follow state-dictated improvement plans and could lose their contract to run Florida's pre-K program within two years.
The new benchmark requires that 70 percent of pre-K students test "ready" on both kindergarten tests. Department staff had recommended a 60 percent standard.
Currently, there is no set standard since the pre-K law had initially allowed pre-K providers to be graded on a curve so that no more than 15 percent failed. This spring, however, the Legislature changed the law, stripping out the language that meant an 85 percent passing rate, and requiring the state board to set a new, specific standard.
Several board members said they were dismayed that poor-performing schools and child-care centers could keep taking state money if they weren't doing a good job preparing youngsters for kindergarten.
"I'm really troubled by the fact that we are accepting providers who are low-performing," said board member Barbara Feingold. "We are giving them our money to provide a very poor delivery system."
Other board members agreed, and the vote to adopt a 70 percent standard was unanimous,