CENTRAL FLORIDA PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARDS COALITION

May 15, 2012 Commissioner Gerard Robinson Florida Department of Education Office of the Commissioner Turlington Building, Ste. 1514 Tallahassee FL 32399 Chairman Kathleen Shanahan State Board of Education 325 W. Gaines Street, Ste. 1520 Tallahassee FL 32399 Dear Commissioner Robinson and Chairman Shanahan, The release of the percent of students statewide scoring proficient on the FCAT 2.0 Writing Exam has raised serious and important questions about the validity of these scores and the impact of these scores on Florida’s accountability system. Because of the impact these scores have on school grades and associated school functions, the Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition recommends a thorough external audit of these results. Any attempt to create a State Board of Education Rule prior to this external audit is premature. An external audit would be consistent with Florida’s prior actions when similar concerns with state assessment results have been identified and would ensure that all stakeholders maintain confidence in the accountability system. The proposed text of the State Board of Education Rule does not remove the dramatic impact these scores have on school grades and may be considered an arbitrary solution. This type of solution would not be appropriate considering the broad impact these scores have on associated school functions and the critical risk of losing confidence in the validity and reliability of Florida’s accountability system.

Sincerely, Susan L. Valdes, Chair cc: Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition State Board of Education

Purpose: To address public educational issues impacting Central Florida.