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January 21, 2003
Contact: Pam Bryant
Florida Board of Education
State Board of Education elects Phil Handy as chair
MIAMI In its first meeting today, the Florida State Board of Education elected Phil Handy as chair and T. Willard Fair as vice chair, and began its duties as the new constitutional authority for K-14 education.
Handy said he is privileged to continue the leadership of this board that will work collegially with the Florida Board of Governors to implement the new K-20 education system. Handy chaired the Florida Board of Education that was instrumental in the reorganization of the Department of Education.
"The State Board of Education has outlined its priorities for public education and is eager to see these goals come to fruition," said Handy. "Each member of our board is dedicated to ensuring that citizens of Florida receive high quality education services."
After the selection of a chair and vice chair, the State Board of Education adopted the following items:
- Alternate Assessment and Portfolio guidelines for third grade promotion. Third
graders scoring at Level 1 Reading on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
must score at or above the 51st percentile on the grade 3 reading norm
referenced test portion of the FCAT, or they must score at or above the 51st
percentile on the Stanford Nine Achievement Test. These are the acceptable
levels of performance on the alternate assessments for the 2002-2003 school
- Expansion of the list of acceptable accommodations for the FCAT. The Department
of Education is expanding allowable FCAT accommodations for students with
disabilities for the March 2003 test date, and providing additional information
and support to districts, teachers and parents. These accommodations include
changes in presentation, responding, scheduling, setting and the use of
assistive devices that do not jeopardize the validity, reliability or security of the FCAT.
- 2003 Legislative Agenda and Education Legislative Priorities for the House and
Senate. The agenda includes enhancing parental involvement and empowering
parents, creating need-based aid for non-traditional students, university fee
flexibility and No Child Left Behind legislation graduation options for
students with disabilities.
- Palm Beach County Charter School District Proposal. The county is now one of four to be granted charter school district status. The district will be chartered for three years, at the end of which the State Board of Education will evaluate the performance. Other charter school districts are Volusia, Hillsborough and Orange County.
"I am very impressed with the substantive work accomplished by the State Board of Education at its first meeting," said Education Commissioner Jim Horne. "We are making significant progress towards accomplishing the Governor's A+ agenda for improving student achievement in Florida."
The State Board of Education will next meet on Feb. 18 in Jacksonville.