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January 30, 2003

Contact: Bill Edmonds
Florida Board of Education
(850) 201-7130

Florida on track in meeting NCLB requirements

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner Jim Horne announced today that he and his staff met this week with U.S. Department of Education Undersecretary Gene Hickok to discuss Florida's proposal for meeting the No Child Left Behind Act requirements. Florida is one of 12 states that are on track with compliance on more than half of the major federal requirements. "I am very encouraged by our discussions with the U.S. Department of Education and confident Florida will be in full compliance once the review process is completed," said Horne.

Gov. Jeb Bush said he is pleased with the status of Florida's proposal and reiterated the state's commitment to educating students. "The fundamental premise at the core of our state's education policy should be unequivocal," said Bush. "Every child can learn and no child should be left behind."

The Florida Department of Education will submit its official NCLB proposal (original submission) on Friday, Jan. 31. It will be available on that day at the Department's Web site, Deputy Commissioner John Winn will host a conference call at 1 p.m. Friday to discuss Florida's NCLB proposal (original submission) and answer press inquiries.

In advance of the conference call, the following points serve as information on Florida's status in complying with the major requirements of the NCLB Act:

  • Accountability system: Florida's submission will detail how the state will define Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and how Florida's accountability system fully meets or exceeds all of the accountability requirements under No Child Left Behind. With the submission, Florida will be fully compliant with the accountability requirements of NCLB.

  • Standards and assessments: Florida is completely compliant with the required math, reading and science standards and assessment requirements and has been for some time.

  • Supplemental services: Because Florida has no schools that are required to provide supplemental services, we have not yet established criteria and a list of approved providers. Florida will begin the development of the required criteria with the involvement of teachers, principals and other stakeholders so that if and when there are schools that fail to meet adequate yearly progress for three consecutive years (federal requirement), the criteria will be available. Florida has made a major investment in providing extra assistance to all students not meeting standards. The current appropriation for supplemental academic instruction is more than $653 million and is available to school districts for providing targeted assistance. In addition, Florida has focused on providing tutors through statewide mentor programs as well as the College Board Partnership. Other key state programs targeted to increasing student achievement include the statewide reading initiative, Just Read, Florida! and the technical assistance provided through the Department's Assistance Plus efforts.

  • Choice: Florida's opportunities for school choice (parental options to transfer students to higher performing schools) exceed the federal requirements as parents have public and private school choice options whenever a school fails to meet state requirements in two of four years (federal law requires only public school choice and only when a school has failed to meet adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years).

  • Persistently dangerous schools: Recognizing the difficulty in establishing appropriate criteria and procedures with respect to persistently dangerous schools, the U.S. Department of Education authorized states to use this year as a planning year with full implementation of the requirements beginning with the 2003-04 school year. Florida is developing the criteria and procedures in accordance with the timelines specified by the U.S. Department of Education and expects to meet the requirements consistent with those timelines.

  • Highly qualified teachers: Florida is one of the 10 states that have defined what constitutes a "highly qualified teacher." Florida will collect data on the numbers of highly qualified teachers in March of this year. Guidelines regarding employment of highly qualified teachers have been distributed to each district. Florida has moved beyond "planning" into implementation of the requirements as stated in the law. This includes the provision that newly employed teachers in Title I schools must be highly qualified (effective at the beginning of the 2002-03 school) and that all teachers in core subject areas in all schools must be highly qualified by 2006.

  • Professional development: The Education Commission of the States Standard requires "annual measurable objectives" for implementation of the "highly qualified teacher" and "high quality professional development" requirements of NCLB. Florida has adopted goals related to the standards. The annual measurable objectives specified by ECS are not due to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education until May of 2003. Florida is on track to meet the federal requirements.

NCLB Proposal Original Submission (Adobe PDF, 1.5 MB)

Original Proposal divided into parts:
  1. Part 1 (Adobe PDF, 64 KB)
  2. Part 2 (Adobe PDF, 122 KB)
  3. Appendices A-B (Adobe PDF, 109 KB)
  4. FCAT Test Administration (Adobe PDF, 247 KB)
  5. Appendices C-E (Adobe PDF, 35 KB)
  6. Appendices F (Adobe PDF, 1 MB)
  7. Appendices G-H (Adobe PDF, 17 KB)