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Florida releases 2022-23 grades under new FAST system

Florida releases 2022-23 grades under new FAST system
Florida releases 2022-23 grades under new FAST system 02:49

TALLAHASSEE - School grades for the 2022-23 school year, the first year the state is using progress monitoring instead of traditional testing, have been released by the Florida Department of Education.

For the 4th year in a row, Miami-Dade's school district received an A rating and the Schools Superintendent, Jose Dotres, is ecstatic.

He told CBS News MIami's Peter D'Oench, "The dedication in this community starts with a community that believes in us. We have been a journey of continuing improvement for years. Our teachers and dedicated and devoted and we have school leaders who have been trying their best to provide the best possible culture for students and our teachers and district staff are focused on being student-centric. I can only tell you that our students and oyur leaders have embraced the challenges and have faced everything with resiliency and adaptability and progress is at the core of or collective journey." 

School Board Chairwoman Mari Tere Rojas, a former teacher and Principal said, "The passion, the commitment, the dedication and the tenacity that is so evident by all members of the Miami-Dade school community. As a former principal, I know how hard they work. The fact that we had 21,000 immigrant children last year and 13,000 the year before that did not speak the language and we helped them and their families and we had just gotten out of a pandemic and everyone rose to the challenges."

Florida has 67 school districts. Sixteen of them received an A rating, said Dotres. Dotres said there was still room for improvement in areas including reading, mathematics and science. 

In 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis charged FDOE with developing new standards that outlined what a student should know and be able to do at each grade level.

After a year of meetings with educators and stakeholders, the state's Board of Education adopted the new Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) standards.

"Following the transition to the B.E.S.T. standards, FDOE developed a new test, Florida's Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST). Unlike end-of-year high-stakes testing, FAST is a progress monitoring system that provides teachers, students, and parents real-time, immediate, and actionable data at the beginning, middle and end of the school year to drive student improvement. Florida was the first state in the nation to establish a system using progress monitoring," said the FDOE in a statement.

According to Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., the grades for the 2022-2023 school year carry no negative consequences.

"These school grades serve as a baseline for districts and provide a starting point for future achievement," said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. "I look forward to seeing schools rise to the occasion as they continue to provide Florida students a first-rate education."

According to the education department, the percentage of schools that earned an "A," "B," "C," "D," or "F" in the 2022-23 school year are statistically equivalent to the 2021-22 grade results, as required by state law.

The Miami-Dade school district received an "A" for its information baseline grade for 2023. Broward and Monroe counties' school districts received a "B."

"This is the starting point for Broward County Public Schools under the new state standards as it clearly marks the path of what we need to achieve to become an "A" District," said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Peter B. Licata. "Our District remains at a high "B," which is encouraging, as we're working our way through a transitional period. Our Board Members, administrators, teachers and staff are committed to continuous improvement for our students, our community and our District."

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