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400px-Rick_Scott_official_portraitDr. Dennis Robinson, the Headmaster of Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona, FL and President of the Florida League of Christian Schools, emailed me this afternoon to let me know his guidance counselor received a response about the end-of-course assessment debacle from Florida Governor Rick Scott via the Florida Department of Education:

Dear Ms. Hellender:

 

Governor Rick Scott asked our office to respond to your email regarding your request for clarification on Florida public school transfer of high school credit requirements. On behalf of the Governor, we are pleased to provide you with the following information.

The provisions adopted by the State Board of Education on March 2, 2012, related to Rule 6A-1.09941, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), State Uniform Transfer of High School Credits, became effective on July 1, 2012, as stated in the opening paragraph of the rule. This rule establishes uniform procedures relating to the acceptance of transfer work and credit for students entering Florida’s public schools. The purpose of this rule revision is to reflect changes from the 2010 Legislative Session. Section 1008.22(9)(b), Florida Statutes (F.S.), was revised to add that if a student transfers into a high school, the school principal shall determine whether the student must take an end-of-course (EOC) assessment in a course for which the student has credit that was earned from the previous school.

If a student transfers into a Florida high school from out of country, out of state, a private school, or a home school, and that student’s transcript shows credit received in Algebra 1 or an equivalent course, the decision as to whether the student must take Florida’s EOC assessment shall be made by the school principal as follows:

· A transfer student with high school credit in Algebra 1 will not take Florida’s Algebra 1 EOC Assessment if the student passed a statewide, standardized EOC assessment in that course, if administered by the transferring school; or if the student achieves an equivalent score on another assessment as identified pursuant to s. 1008.22(11), F.S.

·A transfer student will take Florida’s EOC assessments in Algebra 1 under all other circumstances and must pass the EOC assessment to earn credit in the course.

Florida private school students do not participate in the statewide assessments because these assessments exist to meet federal and state assessment accountability requirements for Florida public schools; however, public school students attending private schools through the use of a school choice scholarship, such as the McKay Scholarship, may take the EOC assessments.

Currently the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has not approved another assessment that would be an alternative to the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment. Although there is a provision in s. 1008.22(11), F.S., for the Commissioner to analyze the content and equivalent data sets for nationally recognized high school achievement tests and industry certification tests to assess if equivalent scores for EOC assessment scores can be determined, a timeline has not been established.

Thank you for sharing your views and contacting the FDOE. Please direct questions related to this response to Ms. Helen Lancashire, School Counseling Consultant, at Helen.Lancashire@fldoe.org or (850) 245-7851.

Sincerely,

Teresa Sweet, Chief

Bureau of Curriculum and Instruction

The only guidance that this provides is that principals can determine what to do with incoming transfers so this perhaps gives Dr. Robinson some latitude with which to deal with incoming students who have taken Algebra I, but failed the EOC assessment.  Since private schools don’t participate he could probably grant the credit.  Currently there is no way any of his or other private school’s students transferring out can receive credit for Algebra I and Biology unless they take the state’s EOC assessment.  Theoretically, the only way for a student to be prepared to take that assessment is for that private school to adopt the same standards as the public schools (read Common Core State Standards) at the moment.  As Sweet mentioned, there is a provision in the Florida Statutes for the Commissioner of Education to approve an alternative exam, but the current Education Commissioner, Gerard Robinson, has resigned effective August 31st.  So who knows when or if that’ll happen.

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