FL: Court Rules in Favor of Stupid
Florida, land of more stupid education rules than you can shake a dead alligator at, embarked on a new level of stupid last year when it fought to keep some third graders from moving on to fourth grade.
As you may recall, Florida is one of the states with a third grader retention law, declaring that third graders cannot move on unless they pass the Big Standardized Test for reading. This is a dumb law, without a lick of evidence to support it, and several licks to suggest that it's actually counter-productive. However, the legislature, in one of its rare lucid moments, opened the door to local districts substituting a portfolio display of reading skills in place of a BS Test score, and sixty-ish Florida county districts walked through that door into a land of sense and clarity.
A few other districts, however, decided to be dopes about the whole thing.
Mind you, I generally try to be semi-respectful here and remember that the people I disagree with are still human beings with families and lives. But what the hell is there to say about a grown adult who declares that an eight year old child must be held back a year, even if that child got straight A's and demonstrated exemplary reading ability? That grown adult, even if she is a professional superintendent of schools, should be ashamed. She should be ashamed of visiting such abuse on any of her young charges, and she should be ashamed that she has so blatantly announced that she is not really concern3ed about that child's reading skills at all, but is only interested in forcing that child to comply and take the Holy BS Test. (Or at least "participate," which in Florida means breaking the seal and signing their names, which at least some of the plaintiffs did.)
But it just got worse. Initially, the state ed department threw the local districts under the bus, saying, "Well, it's their choice." But by summer's end, the education department lawyers were arguing in court that the grades given by teachers on student report cards didn't really mean anything.
And so about a dozen opt-out students were dragged into the Florida public square to be made an CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Court Rules in Favor of Stupid: