FCSA’s Director of Governmental Affairs, Ralph Arza, has been leading SIR discussions in Tallahassee with lawmakers and the Department of Education personnel. On March 15, 2017, Mr. Arza briefed key alternative school leaders on this issue and gathered their feedback in order to move forward. Highlights from that briefing are below. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments. For more details, please contact Lynn Norman-Teck.
The FCSA supports efforts by our member schools to get Florida lawmakers and the Department of Education to update the alternative school grading matrix/School Improvement Rating (SIR) that’s currently in place in Florida. Last year, the FCSA issued a position paper on this issue, and continue to stand by those recommendations that include the use of concordant exam results and state assessment retakes as part of the school’s overall achievement measure.
1 Eligibility requirements for charter school capital outlay – Capital outlay should not be contingent on academic performance. FCSA is working to reach this objective and update the rule that withholds capital outlay from a school that receives two consecutive unsatisfactory grades. This concept has some support in House and Senate.
2 School Closure – Some lawmakers have discussed the idea of closing an alternative school if it receives two consecutive unsatisfactory grades, or no grades. Currently, there is nothing in statute states that addresses closure due to unsatisfactory grades.
3. SIR formula update – FCSA and its member schools that serve an alternative population would like to add other variables like state assessment retakes and concordant scores – included in an alternative school’s assessment grade. The current SIR outcomes results: 4% commendable, 53 % maintaining, and 43% unsatisfactory. When concordant scores and state assessment retakes are included, the outcomes reflect a more accurate assessment: 22% commendable, 53% maintaining, and 25% unsatisfactory.
If your school is impacted by the updated SIR assessment and want to participate in outreach to lawmakers, contact FCSA today.