U.S. Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) praised the U.S. Department of Education's selection today of Florida's proposal for the Department's Differentiated Accountability Pilot Program. Florida's proposal combines the State's school grading system and national Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measures to create a more comprehensive and flexible approach to addressing schools in need of improvement.
"Florida's inclusion in the pilot program will allow the State to intensively target our neediest schools while providing appropriate, specialized assistance to schools that have, by most accounts, performed relatively well but must still improve in a few remaining areas," said Representative Hastings. "Without this pilot program, approximately 450 Florida schools would have had to implement costly, and oftentimes disruptive, restructuring sanctions, regardless of the extent to which they are failing to make AYP. I hope that this is only the first step toward comprehensively reforming our nation's educational policies so that every child in Florida, and across our nation, has access to the quality education necessary to succeed in the 21st Century."
This past May, Representatives Hastings led Florida's Congressional Delegation in authoring a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings supporting the proposal. The letter was signed by both Senators and all of Florida's 25 Representatives and expressed support for the State's proposal. A copy of the letter follows.
Of the seventeen states submitting proposals to participate in the first year of the program, which will be implemented in the 2008-09 school year, six were chosen: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, and Ohio.