Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

Education

Florida and Ed. Dept. Continue Face-off on Testing of English-Language Learners

By Alyson Klein — October 13, 2014 1 min read

Florida’s standoff with the U.S. Department of Education over testing of English-language learners doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Florida officials are planning to take legal action against the department this week, according to the Tampa Bay Times, because the state and the feds continue to clash on the question of just when ELLs performance on tests should factor into the state’s system for accountability purposes.

“The federal government has placed a grossly unfair burden on Florida’s students and heedlessly continues along that path,” Pam Stewart, Florida’s commissioner of education, told the Times in an email. “Accordingly, we will take legal action against the [Education Department] next week.”

Back in August, the Education Department extended the Sunshine State’s waiver from the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, but didn’t greenlight a key part of Florida’s request dealing with assessments for English-language learners. Florida had sought to change its waiver to allow English-language learners two years of classroom instruction before they are counted for school accountability purposes, which is consistent with a new state law.

But the feds turned the state down, saying that the NCLB law requires English-language learners to be considered for accountability purposes after they have had at least one year of classroom instruction. The department has refused to budge on this point, even though they have allowed states plenty of leeway when it comes to other aspects of waiver implementation, such as teacher evaluation.

So why legal action now? About a month ago, Stewart, Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and Miami-Dade County schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho vowed to the fight the feds, and gave the Education Department 30 days to revise its position on testing of ELLs. They said they would move forward if there wasn’t a change in the department’s thinking.

Well, the 30 days have now come and gone. And it looks like the Education Department could have a lawsuit on its hands.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read