The association for administrators, district superintendents, principals, assistant principals, supervisors and those who support the public schools of Florida.
2014 FASA LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM
Florida’s public school administrators support statutory provisions that allow schools to educate our students in safe classrooms led by high quality teachers.
To achieve this goal, we ask Florida’s legislative leaders to consider the following:
FASA Leaders support Common Core State Standards:
- Common Core requires teaching content more effectively and asks students to apply what they learn in multiple contexts and real world situations.
- Implementation has been ongoing in schools since 2010. Halting implementation to develop our own standards would further undermine the validity of our education system.
- High Quality Standards that require more stringent critical thinking skills will benefit our students and our state..
FASA Leaders support valid student assessments aligned to standards being taught:
- Current high school students have been taught using 3 different standards since kindergarten. Testing based on other standards rather than Common Core undermines the validity of Florida’s assessment system and prevents students from demonstrating accurate proficiency and learning gains.
- The current mandate for computer-based testing is expensive and time consuming for both schools and students. Until adequate resources are provided for infrastructure and devices, this mandate should be eliminated or delayed.
- Calculation of comparable scores between FCAT, End of Course Exams, (EOC’s) and future assessments aligned to common core must be proven valid and reliable and be easily understood by parents and educators before being used to assess student proficiency and learning gains or used in school grades and educator evaluations.
- DOE should pursue a plan which would require developers of curriculum to provide EOC exams for each subject that are valid and reliable as part of the state approval process.
FASA Leaders support a school grading system that accurately reflects student and school achievement and calculations that can be easily understood by the public:
- FDOE data shows the number of students scoring on grade level every year has increased since the inception of Florida’s school grading system. However, the numbers of “A” to “F” school grades fluctuate based on a myriad of changes to the grading formula from year to year. School grades must reflect an accurate picture of student and school performance from a formula easy for the average Floridian to understand.
- Florida has experienced multiple years of data corrections resulting in elementary and middle school grades being released nearer to the opening of the next school year. High school grades are released in January of the year following the school year in which the students were tested.
- The lateness of receiving school grades and student achievement data has led to public distrust of the validity of the system. This distrust will multiply when grades are based on assessments not aligned to current standards being taught. Florida must place a one year moratorium on school grading and start fresh with data from new standards and corresponding aligned assessments.
- Additionally, the data is not produced in time to allow schools to use the results for school improvement.
FASA Leaders support teacher evaluations based on accurate student performance in the specific subjects taught by each teacher, in addition to supervisor and peer evaluations:
- Student performance data must be proven to be valid and reliable prior to being used to evaluate a teacher’s performance for high stakes purposes.
- Performance pay and other statutes impacting a teacher’s salary or employment status must be postponed until based on statistically valid data and fully funded by the Legislature.
- The Value Added Model (VAM) must accurately reflect the growth of students on a teacher’s roster in each course they teach.
Other Education Issue Positions
Protect And Maintain The Benefits Of Public School Employees:
- Protect employees from any increase in their contribution rate to FRS
- Protect DROP as an option for employees to remain in public schools.
- Protect the health insurance Subsidy and COLA for our retirees living on fixed incomes.
- Allow monies paid into the retirement system for and by an employee who dies prior to retirement to default to a defined contribution plan and allow for their beneficiaries to receive support.
Deregulate Our Public Schools:
- Return local control of school start dates and terminal leave pay to local school boards.
- Traditional Public Schools should receive the same flexibility and benefits as charter schools.
- Repeal all unfunded and underfunded state programs and regulations.
Provide Increased Education Funding:
- Continue dedicated funding for teacher and school administrator raise
- Infrastructure and Teacher Training on Technology for mandated transition to Digital Instruction.
- Professional growth and training for all public education personnel.
- Restoration of PECO funding to be used for school maintenance
- Support a Joint Resolution to participate in the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, allowing for Internet and Catalog sales taxes to be collected according to law.