Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 092502
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File Number: 092502 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1116-09 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: URGE FCAT AND RECENT IMMIGRANT STUDENTS Introduced: 9/2/2009
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/15/2009
Agenda Date: 9/15/2009 Agenda Item Number: 11A5
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE, THE GOVERNOR AND EDUCATION COMMISSIONER TO PROVIDE MORE FLEXIBILITY RELATED TO THE FCAT AND RECENT IMMIGRANT STUDENTS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY BY PROVIDING SUCH STUDENTS A FOUR-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE THEY ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE FCAT
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Rebeca Sosa, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/15/2009 11A5 Adopted P

County Attorney 9/2/2009 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE, THE GOVERNOR AND EDUCATION COMMISSIONER TO PROVIDE MORE FLEXIBILITY RELATED TO THE FCAT AND RECENT IMMIGRANT STUDENTS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY BY PROVIDING SUCH STUDENTS A FOUR-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE THEY ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE FCAT

BODY
WHEREAS, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a statewide test, given to all public school students, which measures the knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire between grades K through 12; and
WHEREAS, the State of Florida also uses the FCAT to decide whether third grade students will advance to the fourth grade and twelfth grade students will graduate from high school; and
WHEREAS, FCAT scores are also used to grade schools, and a low FCAT grade for a school can have significant impacts on schools for funding and staffing and schools can be closed if they have multiple failing FCAT grades; and
WHEREAS, the FCAT is generally required of all students, including students of limited English proficiency, and the scores of all students are considered when grading a particular school; and
WHEREAS, in 2003, the Legislature passed HB 23-B, Chapter 2003-413, Laws of Florida, which provided some relief to students of limited English proficiency related to the FCAT, allowing such students to graduate from high school despite not passing the FCAT if certain conditions are met, such as passing a different standardized test like the SAT, ACT, other college placement test or military entrance exam; and
WHEREAS, HB 23-B also provided limited English proficiency students with the opportunity to receive immersion English language instruction during the summer following their senior year; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Education also has promulgated rules that allow for accommodations for limited English proficiency students taking the FCAT that allows more time to take the exam, access to English to heritage language/heritage language to English dictionaries and the ability to asked instructors questions about the exam; and
WHEREAS, more can be done to assist limited English proficiency students and prevent schools with large populations of such students from receiving skewed FCAT grades,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature, the Governor and the Florida Education Commissioner to change the state’s policy related to the FCAT and recent immigrant students with limited English proficiency so as to (1) allow such students more flexibility related to the FCAT by providing them four years of transition time from the time they come to the U.S. before they are required to take the FCAT; and (2) provide schools with large populations of limited English proficiency students additional flexibility related to FCAT grades for such schools.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation and the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education.
Section 3. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate for the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs that the 2009 and 2010 State Legislative Packages be amended to include this item.



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