Best wishes to Council Board Member Scott Curtis on his promotion to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Raymond James Financial Services. He will become President of the business unit that provides technology and support services for independent brokers across the United States.
Spotlight on the FCAT…
Each year, students in grades 3 – 10 take the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) in reading and math, while writing is assessed in grades 4, 8, and 10, and science in grades 5 and 8. End of course exams are now included as a part of the assessment for high school students in the areas of algebra, geometry, and biology. These high stakes tests are critical, particularly in grade 3, where students who do not pass are required to pass an alternative assessment or face retention. A passing score is required in high school in order to receive a diploma.
The state changed aspects of the test this year, and raised the passing score. In the area of writing, the grading criteria became more rigorous, with additional weight being given to conventions such as spelling, transitions, and punctuation. Also, the passing score was raised from a 3 to a 4. However, based on the poor results achieved by students, the state has decided to allow the score of 3 to remain passing for this year. The Commissioner of Education is holding a series of meetings around the state to discuss the concerns raised by parents and educators over the changes to this year’s FCAT.
Statewide, 56% of the third graders passed the test in reading and 58% in math. In grades nine and ten, students have shown improvement over last year despite a more difficult test with higher grading standards. Commissioner Gerard Robinson predicted an overall drop in school grades, with more schools receiving D’s and F’s. End of course examinations scores are not yet included in decisions regarding high school graduation.
The Council for Educational Change is attempting to assist schools in meeting these difficult challenges by presenting principals with information on the changes in the test. Dr. John Hansen, Professor Emeritus at Florida State University and CEC Consultant, recently did a presentation on the changes in the test and what teachers need to know in order to prepare students for the FCAT.
- Robinson High, Alumni PASS school, received a Silver medal in the recent US News & World Report Best High School rankings. Robinson was 34th in the state. Robinson was ranked number 574 out of nearly 22,000 public high schools in the nation that were evaluated.
- Two Executive PASS© schools are ranked in the top 28 in recent the U.S. News ranking. Young Women’s Preparatory Academy was ranked second in the state and 26th in the nation. Miami Beach Senior High was ranked 28th – the highest ranking non-charter or magnet school in the Miami-Dade district. Florida has 990 high schools.
- The Steering Committee of the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy held its first in person meeting on May 23rd in Orlando. The Leadership Academy will be funded by the Florida Department of Education and hosted by the Council for Educational Change for 25 of the highest performing principals in the state. Nominations will be made by Superintendents in June, and the participants will be selected and notified prior to the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.
PASS© and Executive PASS©:
- New Executive PASS partnerships include:
Dr. Michael Krop Senior High- Principal Dawn Baglos with Business Partner Raj Thakor of ING Financial Services; and
Young Men’s Preparatory Academy - Principal Leonard Ruan and Partner Karen Fryd of South Florida Youth Foundation.
- The Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center (CFGSCC), a division of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, recently made $2,500 in literacy grants to Title I elementary schools in south Hillsborough County and to RCMA, a local charter school, which meets Title I criteria. Funding is from the Hazel Bryson Fund within the Foundation. Mrs. Bryson was a teacher who wanted to foster literacy in elementary schools. CFGSCC is currently sponsoring a second PASS school at Cypress Creek Elementary and previously funded the Gibsonton Elementary PASS. Evelyn Lunsford and Gene Marshall serve as the business mentors for Cypress Creek Elementary PASS II, the principal is Roy Moral and the PASS coach is Dr. Mary Knox.
- The City of Miami Gardens, along with Councilman David Williams, sponsored the installation of a beautiful, world-class Butterfly Garden at PASS program school Crestview Elementary in Miami-Dade County. The Garden is the 'heart' of the school where all of the students, staff, and community can come to read and enjoy the scenery. The PASS CEO is Beau Parrillo, the principal is Sabrina Montilla, and the PASS Coordinator is Dr. Patricia Dixon.
Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. and Raymond James Financial, Inc. are statewide sponsors of PASS & Executive PASS
Close of School Happenings:
- Arcola Lake Elementary celebrated Library/Poetry month with a wealth of reading activities. Students created a new poetry wall with spring poems, and special guests read to students during the annual Celebrity Read Aloud event. The Honorable Judge Rodney Smith was among the celebrity readers. Other reading activities included special storytelling treats from Commissioner Jean Monestime, Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, and author Arthur Chung. Special thanks to Sylvia Brown, Director of Arcola Lakes Public Library, for partnering with the school to celebrate the students. Arcola Lake is part of the Council’s Leader to Leader program.
- Kudos to Alumni PASS Hialeah Elementary on their awesome Career Day festivities. There were over 50 presenters representing varying careers.
- Leader to Leader program school, Lakeview Elementary, kicked off the Free Backpack Meals Program on May 4th. One hundred students received, free healthy meals for Saturday and Sunday including breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a snack for each day of the week. These students will receive free meals at the end of each week from now until the end of the school year. The program is scheduled to continue in August. North Central Regional Center (NCRC) Superintendent Dr. Carmen Marinelli, Administrative Director of NCRC Richard Vidal, Penny Parham, Administrator Director for the Department of Food and Nutrition, and Olga Botero, Executive Director of Food and Nutrition all joined Principal Dr. Sharon R. Lewis in this community project. The Free Back Pack Meal Program is sponsored by the Two Rivers Church/Broward County and Feeding God’s Children out of Knoxville Tennessee.
The Council for Educational Change is Celebrating a Decade of Developing Principals and Educational Partnerships
A printable version of the Update is available for download below.
Council for Educational Change Board....Florida's Educational Think Tank
Gene E. Marshall, Chair • Dr. Elaine Liftin, President and Executive Director
Founder, Leonard Miller
Andrew L. Ansin* • Philip F. Blumberg • Hugh M. Brown* • Columba Bush* • Charles E. Cobb Jr.* • Irv Cohen • Scott A. Curtis • Dr. Akshay Desai
Edward W. Easton* • T. Willard Fair* • Edward T. Foote, II* • Karen Fryd • Dr. Robert W. Graham, III
Bill Habermeyer* • Steven T. Halverson* • Elsie Sterling Howard • Cyrus M. Jollivette • David S. Kenin Esq* • Jonathan I. Kislak*
Daniel W. Mahurin* • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller • Robert A. Morris Jr.* • Robert Moss • Beau Parrillo • Fred F. Pezeshkan
Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell* • Steven J. Saiontz • Michael Scheck* • Roger Slade • Elliott Stern* • Steven J. Uhlfelder
Keith T. Ward • Steven Wasserman • Lynne Wines • Dr. Paul Zimmerman • Robert A. Zinn *Life Trustees
3265 Meridian Parkway Suite 130 Weston, FL 33331 phone: 954.727.9909 fax: 954.727.0990 www.changeeeducation.org