Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida announced a plan last week to improve middle schools, in what some observers say may be the largest change so far in the state’s 1999 school accountability law.
Gov. Bush’s recommendation to the legislature builds on last year’s Middle Grades Reform Act, which provided hundreds of new reading coaches in middle schools across the state.
This year’s proposal would require current 6th graders to earn 12 credits before proceeding to high school. Students in 6th through 8th grades would be required to earn at least one credit each year in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Currently, there is no academic-credit system in Florida middle schools.
The governor’s plan, which he announced Jan. 10 in Miami, also would force students reading below grade level to take a remedial-reading course starting in 6th grade, and would require teachers to use a common grading scale to determine students’ letter grades.
A version of this article appeared in the January 19, 2005 edition of Education Week