Over 500 responses received

Orange County Public Schools published a survey seeking feedback regarding testing, teacher evaluations and how to improve schools.

The survey was in response to “Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law December 10, 2015 by President Barack Obama. The law, which gives states more flexibility in making decisions on testing, teacher evaluations and improving low-performing schools, requires that the state seek out parent and community feedback.

The district submitted this information to the state in a letter from Superintendent Barbara Jenkins to Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart .

In Jenkins’ letter to Stewart, she said respondents made assessments, recommendations and came to conclusions. She writes:

“We surveyed parents, students, teachers, administrators and community members. We received over 500 responses and asked that they also provide direct feedback to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and the United States Department of Education (USDOE). We feel certain that responses would increase if more time were provided. This limited feedback directs our comments. We have found that there is strong consensus in our community on some items, while they feel that more information is needed before commenting on others. We surveyed parents,students, teachers, administrators and community members. We received over 500 responses and asked that they also provide direct feedback to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and the United States Department of Education (USDOE). We feel certain that responses would increase if more time were provided. This limited feedback directs our comments. We have found that there is strong consensus in our community on some items, while they feel that more information is needed before commenting on others. We make the following recommendations in alignment with the feedback provided to the school district.

OCPS LogoRecommendations:
-We support the identification and use of alternative methods of assessing students that include the use of smaller, interim assessments rather than a single, end-of-year assessment.

-We support the current measures of the percent of students meeting state standards (scoring Level 3 or above) on statewide assessments as the appropriate indicator to use in achievement measures for both school accountability and statewide achievement goals.
– We support the inclusion of an ‘additional indicator of school quality or student success’ that has the support of Florida’s parents, community members and other stakeholders.
– We oppose excessively punitive measures of penalizing schools for testing less than 95% of students. For example, we oppose any recommendation to provide schools with an automatic rating in the lowest category or categories based on not meeting percent tested requirements.
Supporting School Improvement – We support school identification for improvement based on a larger understanding of school performance rather than a school grade.”

To read the entire letter from Jenkins to Stewart, go here.

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