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PRESS RELEASE

November 26, 2002

Contact: Pam Bryant
Florida Board of Education
(850) 201-7130

Florida Department of Education debuts paperless Assistance Plus school reporting site

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Education presented today to the State Board of Education a new paperless online school reporting Web site for 64 currently low-performing schools with grades of F and double F. Under the Assistance Plus initiative, the principals of these schools are required to report to the State Board of Education on their school's progress in implementing changes to raise student achievement.

The Web site, http://osi.fsu.edu/aplus includes information on the activities-to-date each school has begun, the assistance each school needs from the Department of Education and a summary of student success at each school.

"Details on school improvement measures are now readily available thanks to this new Web-based reporting," said Education Secretary Jim Horne. "I am proud to see our accountability standards up to speed for the paperless 21st century."

The 10 schools that have received an F for the second time in a four-year period must report monthly to the State Board. The other 54 schools report quarterly. The new online system is an efficient method that allows for more frequent reporting, eliminates annual reporting on paper documents and provides a history of each school's improvement plan.

Through Assistance Plus, all low-performing schools are receiving financial assistance and targeted help for school improvement from additional reading, writing and math tutors.

"Parents and students in low-performing schools can see firsthand what improvements are being made in their schools with this easy, user-friendly online reporting system," said Education Commissioner Charlie Crist. "This is a great vehicle to help educators further develop academic opportunities for Florida's students."