TaxWatch Staff

2015 How Florida Compares - Education

The 2015-16 school year ushers in a new era for education in Florida. Florida educators have worked hard to make the state a national leader in education, closing the achievement gap, expanding school choice, and improving graduation rates.

To build on that success, the 2015 Florida legislature appropriated historic levels of funding for public education, with a renewed emphasis on testing, student assessment, and teacher evaluations.

The amount of time students spend on state and local testing was capped at 5 percent of the total school hours, not to exceed 45 hours. The reliance on test results to evaluate teacher performance was reduced from 50 percent to 33 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. The 11th-grade language arts test (ELA) and the Postsecondary Education Reading Test were eliminated, as was the requirement that a school district administer a local end-of-course assessment for each course that is not assessed by a statewide, standardized assessment.

The rollout schedule for statewide, standardized computer-based testing and backup paper testing options were codified through the 2017-2018 school year. The validity of the statewide, standardized assessments must be independently verified before the results can be used to determine third grade retention or high school graduation.

We hope you will use this guide as a resource to better understand how public education in Florida compares to public education in other states.

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