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Florida short $300 million for next year’s Common Core implementation   2 comments

The Orlando Sentinel reports that education leaders worry schools won’t be ready for common core in time to meet its mandates and that there’s not enough money for implementation.

By Leslie Postal,  reposted from Orlando Sentinel  February 18, 2013

Florida schools are scrambling to be ready for new Common Core academic  standards – and the new computer-based tests that go with them – by 2015.

At their meeting Monday in Orlando, some members of the State Board of  Education questioned if schools had made enough progress training teachers  on the language arts and math standards and on preparing for a new batch of  online tests.

“It’s now February. We have be ready to roll the next calendar year,” said  board member Kathleen Shanahan.

The state’s new “readiness gauge” shows more progress on the standards than  the technology, as many schools still don’t have the computers, bandwidth or  high-speed Internet access needed for the tests and the state’s overall  “digital learning” push.

The State Board requested more than $400 million for new school technology  in the next year, but Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a smaller hike of $100  million.

“One hundred million won’t get done everything we need to get done,” Barbara  Jenkins, superintendent of Orange County schools, told the board.

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett praised the new standards, which 45  states have adopted, as academic guidelines that “will transform the way our  students learn.” The new tests, he said, were key to making sure they are  well taught.

But he said there are “complexities” to implementing both, among them the  “technology readiness” of the 22 states, Florida included, that plan to use  the new tests from the Partnership for  Assessment of Readiness for College  and Career. They are to replace FCAT math, reading and writing exams.

He said within the next few months his staff will devise a “Plan B” in case  implementation cannot proceed as planned by 2015.

Mississippi Struggling With Common Core Budget Demands   1 comment

The Mississippi Sun-Herald reports that like many other school districts, Pascagoula district leaders are “bracing themselves as they prepare for new federal requirements for online state testing”.

It is interesting to note that most states adopted Common Core without doing a cost analysis of the program.

The Missisippi Sun-Herald explains that “All U.S. students in second through 12th grades, under the newly adopted Common Core State Standards, will take the same standardized tests online rather than on paper at school. The deadline for schools to implement this requirement is the 2014-15 school year.”

The Sun-Herald quotes Pascagoula District Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich: “This is going to be a problem in Mississippi if it’s not addressed now in the budget.”

The article states that many school districts “find themselves struggling with a lack in technology and hardware, outdated electrical infrastructure, a shortage of bandwidth and a need for more staff” to manage all the requirements of Common Core implementation.

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