The PreK-12 Policy Committee of the Florida House met this morning to discuss the FDOE end-of-course testing program. Two FDOE officials, K-12 Chancellor Frances Haithcock and Kris Ellington, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Accountability, Research and Measurement, spoke. The news for science was bad.
Both officials emphasized that the FDOE plan is to replace the 11th grade Science FCAT with a biology end-of-course test. There is no concrete plan to implement tests in chemistry, Earth/space science or physics. Chancellor Haithcock clearly opposes the timely development of end-of-course exams in these subjects. She talked vaguely about phasing in sciences other than biology in the distant future.
The committee is planning to produce a bill on assessment and graduation that will preempt HB 61, which was filed by Representative Fresen in August. HB 61 proposed that the graduation requirements in science be set at three courses, with one biology and another a physical science class (with chemistry and physics being acceptable).
None of the committee members expressed any concern about the science situation during today’s meeting.