HB: House Bill
SB: Senate Bill
s. ###: Statute

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eske ou ka ede nou, souple? - LOLgislation #046

FL Senate 2010: SB 2310
By Senator Frederica S. Wilson, Minority Lead Whip, (D, Miami-Dade)

A bill to be entitled                     
An act relating to the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test; recognizing the continuing,  devastating, and far-reaching effects of the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti;
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
         Section 1. In recognition of the continuing, devastating, and far-reaching effects of the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, any school that has a student population of at least 40 percent who are of Haitian descent shall administer the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, as required in s. 1008.22, Florida Statutes, during the 2009-2010 school year; however, all students are exempt from any adverse impact the scores may have on promotion, retention, or graduation. The State Board of Education shall adopt guidelines by September 1, 2010, for determining which schools qualify for this exemption. Based on the guidelines, the Commissioner of Education shall determine which schools qualify for this exemption and by October 1, 2010, certify his or her findings to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the State Board of Education, and the schools qualifying for this exemption.

How thoughtful.

I don't really like the FCAT system anyway, so I don't entirely mind that test results will be thrown out the window, but...

It seems odd that in a school with 40% Haitian students, the other 60% are also exempt from adverse effects of their test results. It's also odd that in a school with 5% Haitian students, those students will not be exempt from having to formally read and calculate at grade level.

I imagine the students at school #2, with a much smaller Haitian community, would have a tougher time losing their entire extended families under the rubble of what used to be Port-au-Prince. I imagine school #1, with such a large Haitian community, already has information and connections to grief counseling for those children, in addition to the network of other Haitians who share their experience.

Would it really be so difficult to simply exempt all students of Haitian descent, regardless of school, and not exempt the 6 out of 10 non-Haitian students who happen to go to a "qualified" school? Are the "qualified" schools so busy with the Haitian students they're not teaching the rest of the students anything?

No school would know if they qualified as exempt until next fall. Wouldn't "promotion or retention" have already happened?

No comments:

Post a Comment