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Press Release

Friday, March 9, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Commissioner of Education Sets Agenda for Taskforce on Inclusion and Accountability

Tallahassee - The Florida Department of Education today named the members who will participate on the Commissioner's Taskforce on Inclusion and Accountability and announced the meeting schedule. The taskforce consists of educators, parents, school and business leaders from across the state.

During the State Board of Education meeting on February 28, 2012, in Tallahassee, the board voted to create a taskforce to develop an implementation plan to include students with disabilities, students who are learning the English language, and students enrolled in exceptional student education centers in Florida's school accountability system and to create recommendations for consideration by the U.S. Department of Education regarding Florida's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver.

"Florida is a state with significant diversity. The economic development of our state depends on the success of all students," said Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "Working with the members of this taskforce who represent parents, teachers, administrators, and advocates who represent students with disabilities and English language learners will help to shape the process of inclusion and accountability and ensure that everyone counts in Florida's education system."

Commissioner Robinson outlined four goals for the taskforce:

  1. Identify best practices to ensure Florida leads the nation in fully including students with disabilities, students who are learning the English language, and students enrolled in exceptional student education (ESE) centers.
  2. Identify strategies to reduce unintended consequences of including students with disabilities, students who are learning the English language, and students enrolled in ESE centers.
  3. Identify potential enhancements to Florida's school grade rule regarding the inclusion of including students with disabilities, students who are learning the English language, and students enrolled in ESE centers that are consistent with the conditions of the federal ESEA flexibility waiver.
  4. Identify recommendations and strategies to discuss/negotiate with the U.S. Department of Education to inform future federal policy.

The 18-member taskforce includes the following individuals:

Name Title Location Focus
Alberto Carvalho District Superintendent Miami Dade ELL
MaryEllen Elia District Superintendent Hillsborough SWD
Alexis Tibbetts District Superintendent Okaloosa ESE
Vickie Marble Principal Sarasota SWD
Robin Meyers Principal Lake County ESE
Maria Cardenas Teacher Ft. Myers ELL
Conney Dahn Teacher Martin ESE
Agustin Grana Teacher Miami Dade ESE
Patricia Levesque Parent Leon SWD
Allison Tant Richard Parent Leon SWD
Julie Weinberg Parent Orange SWD
Ester de Jong League of United Latin American Citizens Alachua ELL
Shirley Johnson National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Miami Dade ELL
Richard LaBelle Family Network of Disabilities, Inc. Palm Beach SWD
Francois Leconte Minority Development & Empowerment Broward ELL
Margarita Pinkos Florida Association of Bilingual/ESOL Supervisors Palm Beach ELL
Ann Siegal Disability Rights Florida Leon ESE
Lynn Stanfield Apple Inc. Leon SWD