Urgent Information

2016-17 Flagler Schools Approved Calendar
2016-17 flaglerschoolscalendar.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [140.0 KB]

State Board of Education Agrees To Cut Scores...And Why This Matters

January 7, 2016

The state Board of Education, which for years has pushed to toughen standards for Florida students, voted Wednesday to compromise on test scores and school grades while the state continues to wrestle with its newly revised accountability system.

The board adopted Education Commissioner Pam Stewart's recommendations for scores that would see more than half of students passing the Florida Standards Assessments. It also approved a more forgiving grading formula that will maintain the current distribution of A- through F-rated schools statewide.

The vote involves tests that were taken last spring but have yet to be formally applied to school grades. That's because of the long process required after the state switched to new standards and developed new tests. Usually, grades and scores are released in the summer following spring testing.

Schools should get their official results in February, after the rule takes effect formally.

Read more from TampaBay.com here: http://bit.ly/22NfLuw

Florida School Board Association Explains Support For Cut Scores and the Accountability Mess That Got Us To This Point

January 7, 2016

The following is an email from Ruth Melton, Florida School Board Association's Director of Government Relations, explaing the associations support of Commisioner Stewart's cut score recommendation and how we got to this point in the first place:

"Ladies and Gentlemen,

In their meeting today, the State Board of Education voted to support the recommendations of Commissioner Stewart with regard to setting achievement level cut scores for the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) and with regard to the calculation of school grades. 
As you know, FSBA was the first education group to appeal to Governor Scott to request that he waive the use of 2015 assessment results for any purposes (see our Letter to Governor Scott,Resolution on the 2014-2015 State Assessment and Accountability System, and related materials in our Accountability Resource Room). FSBA remains profoundly concerned about the validity and reliability of the FSA and with the lack of complete data necessary to determine cut scores and calculate school grades.  However, it was evident that the State Board intended to move forward in both of these areas -- driven, in part, by statutory requirements.  As a further complication, some members of the State Board recently recommended alternative methods for setting cut scores and calculating school grades that were inconsistent with the Commissioner’s recommendations.  We believe that these alternative methods would have been detrimental to Florida’s students, schools, and school districts and would have further undermined public confidence in the state accountability system.  With that in mind, St. Johns County School Board member Beverly Slough, FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina, and several district school superintendents were present at today’s State Board meeting and expressed support for Commissioner Stewart’s cut score and school grade recommendations.
With regard to cut scores:  Last November, Commissioner Stewart outlined her recommendation for achievement level cut scores (i.e. the scores needed to reach achievement Level 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).  Her recommendation was based on the established and transparent process that includes stakeholder review and comment.  Her recommendation would result in a slight majority of students passing the assessment – achieving Level 3 or higher.  At that meeting, some State Board members expressed a desire for the cut scores be aligned with the achievement levels of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).  In addition to the obvious problems that would stem from the vast differences between the NAEP and the FSA (populations tested, frequency of testing, etc.), this alignment would have resulted in a significantly lower passing rate.  In today’s meeting, these same State Board members reiterated their desire to “raise the bar” and to establish a means for national comparisons, but also acknowledged that aligning FSA with NAEP might not be the best means for accomplishing this.  FSBA expressed support for the Commissioner's recommendation and the State Board voted 6-1 (Vice Chair John Padget voting “no”) to adopt Commissioner Stewart’s recommendation on cut scores.
With regard to school grades: Commissioner Stewart recommended a methodology for calculating school grades that would result in nearly the same number of A, B, C, D, and F schools as were reported in 2014.  Specifically, under her recommendation, 1,159 schools would receive an A (compared to 1,147 in 2014), 627 schools would receive a B (596 in 2014), 875 would receive a C (870 in 2014), 364 would receive a D (363 in 2014), and 189 would receive an F (185 in 2014).  The Foundation for Excellence in Education, with the support of State Board Vice Chair John Padget, recommended a different school grading methodology that would have resulted in as many as 500 schools receiving a grade of F. FSBA expressed support for the Commissioner's approach and the State Board voted 6-1 (Vice Chair John Padget voting “no”) to adopt Commissioner Stewart’s recommendation on school grades.
Bottom Line
Until FSBA is convinced of the validity and reliability of all statewide assessments and all of the pertinent data is available to make proper use of assessment results with regard to cuts scores and school grades, we do not condone the use of assessment results for any purpose.  However, given that the State Board felt compelled to move forward with these decisions, FSBA believes that it is in the best interests of student, schools, and school districts to support Commissioner Stewart’s recommendations on these issues.
I hope you find this information useful.  Please let me know if you have any questions."

Florida’s FSA test deemed vaild, but debut was “problematic”


Florida's new standardized test is a valid one that provides an "accurate way" to measure whether students have mastered the state's academic standards, but its initial administration this spring was "problematic," a study released this morning found.

An independent "validity study" of the Florida Standards Assessments, or FSA, found the test is reliable and its data can be used in teacher evaluations and to calculate A-to-F grades for public schools, the department said.

But the study found FSA's 2015 debut to be "problematic" and said students who took its computer-based exams should face a "hold harmless" policy, meaning if they did poorly the exam it should not be used as the sole factor in "critical decisions," such as whether they are promoted or graduated.

Read more from the Orlando Sentinel HERE.

Read the Executive Summary below.

MHS Students Create Public Service Announcement Showing Dire Consequences of Texting and Driving 

Check out this Public Service Announcement created by Matanzas High School Students in Mrs. Hicks Class. This video is part of a joint effort of local businesses and governmental agencies, spearheded by Micheal Chiumento, III, to shed the light on the dire consequences of texting and driving. Notice the local agencies and locations that make this video unique to Flagler County!

School Board Votes to Relax Dress Code for High School Students

First, let’s stop calling this a “UNIFORM” policy. It is a dress code or appearance code. Officially, it is the "School Dress and Personal Appearance Policy, #534". As stated in the policy, "a proper dress code promotes an environment that enhances learning and safety, encourages students to express themselves individually through personality and achievements, not outward appearances, and creates a sense of school pride and belonging."

Yes, the Flagler County School District has a stricter policy than most of the districts in Florida, but that policy became a little more relaxed for high school students starting next school year. Spurred on by a proposal from student board member Michael Manning (MHS), the board voted 3-2 Tuesday night (motion by Board member Andy Dance, seconded by Janet McDonald) to allow students to wear approved spirit shirts (club sponsored t-shirts, team jerseys, etc.) any day of the week and to expand the selection of collared shirts to include stripes and plaids. The prior dress code restricted collared shirts to just solid colors.

Since the strict dress code was enacted three years ago, the board has listened to parents and students and implemented modest changes the past two years. But this is a significant change in the policy, allowing for a greater display of school pride and the introduction of patterns over solid colors. As Mr. Manning stated at the close of the discussion, "The board had a great opportunity to listen to students, to listen to parents, and they did. I think that’s a great win for students and parents as well. "

Note that the dress code does not change for K-8 grades. The policy will remain as is for those grades next school year.

Read the entire approved policy below, with areas highlighted for emphasis and to show the added language allowing for strips and plaids.

For further analysis of the School Board decision, you can read this on FlaglerLive.com: http://bit.ly/1IPecCx

Six Flagler Schools Combine to Dominate Florida Future Problem Solving State Competition

Click HERE to read more about Flagler's three Florida FPS Grand Champions and 16 International Competition invitations!

Flagler Schools selects Ed Wolff as 2015 Teacher of the Year and Brun Hudson as Employee of the Year

January 15, 2015 - Belle Terre Elementary teacher Ed Wolff, head of the school’s after school fifth- and sixth-grade science club, accepted the Flagler County School District’s Teacher of the Year award to shouts and cheers Jan. 15 in an event that was as much party as ceremony.

“The fact that when we all work hard, and we all try to do this — for me to be picked, out of all of these people, it’s amazing,” Wolff said. “I hope I represent the district and make it happen. I think we can make state.”

Brun Hudson, Matanzas High School network support session, opened the ceremony by dancing onto the stage at the Flagler Auditorium in a pair of roller skates as rock music played over the speakers. Near its conclusion Hudson was on the stage again, this time to be recognized as the district’s Employee of the Year.

- See more at: http://www.palmcoastobserver.com/news/palm-coast/Front-Page/0116201510154/School-district-names-teacher-employee-of-the-year#sthash.ReIUBL4z.dpuf

School Board Primary Election Results: Dance Cruises,  Tucker Escapes and Fischer & McDonald in Runoff

Flagler County Professional Firefighters helped with sign waving on election day!

August 27, 2014

At the end of the primary election day, two of the three Flagler County School Board incumbents would be returning, while the third would need to wait until the general election on November 4th.

School Board chairman Andy Dance cruised to the night's largest margin of victory, a 60%-40% margin over political newcomer Maria Barbosa. Trevor Tucker survived over Michael McElroy, winning by just 58 votes. The margin of victory was within the 5% margin of victory that triggered a recount, but McElroy waived the recount.

The most anticipated school board contest pitted incumbent John Fischer against newcomers Janet McDonald (yes, she is the wife of Dennis McDonald, the losing County Commission candidate), Lynette Callender and Toni Baker. Early voting and absentee ballots gave McDonald the lead, and she held of Fischer to take the primary by 23 votes. Callender and Baker were eleiminated. The slate is now wiped clean, and Fischer and McDonald get to battle in the general election, where it is anticipated that another 20,000 votes will be cast due to the interest in the governor's election.

For more on the election, including the county commission primary races won by Nate McLaughlin adn Frank Meeker, click HERE for the Flaglerlive summary.

Flagler Schools Scores Higher Yet Maintains "B" Grade;  All Traditional Elementary Schools Earn "A" Grade

EDITORIAL: Focus on Innovation and Personalized Learning Keeps Flagler Schools Moving Forward (Click link above)

National Supt. of the Year visits Flagler Schools

Back 2 School Jam Set For August 2nd.

2014-15 District Calendar Posted

Matanzas High School and Flagler Palm Coast High School Maintain Their Ranking of "Best" High Schools in the Nation by US News & World Report

April 22, 2014

The U.S. News and World Report released its national and state rankings for best high schools this morning.  I am proud to say that both Flagler Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School made the list for the second year in a row!  Flagler Palm Coast High School earned Bronze Recognition.  Matanzas High School earned Silver Recognition with a National Rank of #1807 and a State Rank of #75.  Rankings were completed by the American Institute of Research based on three key steps.  

Step 1:  Determine if the students at the school were performing better than statistically expected in Reading and Math.
Step 2:  Determine if the school's least advantaged students (minority & economically disadvantaged) were performing better than average for similar students in the state.
Step 3:  Computing a College Readiness Index based on the school's AP or IB participation rate as well as how those students performed on those exams.  

Note:  Only the top 500 schools in the U.S. were awarded a Gold Medal Recognition. Schools ranked numerically between #501 and #2019 in the nation were awarded Silver Medals Recognition.  An additional 2,688 high schools that met the threshold of performance on the Step #1 and Step #2 above were awarded Bronze Medal Recognition if its College Readiness Index was less than the median of 18.17 required for a Silver ranking.

For a full description on how rankings were calculated, please visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/articles/2014/04/21/how-us-news-calculated-the-2014-best-high-schools-rankings .  

Jacob Oliva Selected as Superintendent of Flagler Schools

February 4, 2014

Jacob Oliva, Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Flagler County Publics School District was selected as the next Superintendent, succeeding Janet Valentine, who is retiring at the end of June. Ms. Valentine has been out of work since the beginning of November after suffering a stroke and loss of speech. Mr. Oliva has been performing the Superintendent duties since then.

Mr. Oliva was one of two finalists for the top schools job. The superintendent selection process lasted more than six months, included town hall meetings and also a 15 member community taskforce brought together by the school board to prepare the advertisement and cull the applicants for interviews. After a thirty day advertisement period, the District received over twenty applications. The committee reviewed over the qualifying candidates, and mulled over the final seven candidates before recommending five candidates for the Board to interview.   

The school Board then met to review the five recommendations and ultimately settled on a list of three candidates and one alternate to be interviewed. After two candidates pulled out of the running, the top two candidates, including Mr. Oliva, were interviewed by the board. The final decision was rendered on February 4th, with four board members (Dance/Tucker/Dickinson/Fischer) voting for Mr. Oliva and one (Conklin) voting for the other candidate, Ms. Tapley.

Here are a couple of highlights from the interview with Mr. Oliva:

Q. What are your leadership styles and how does this effect decision making?

A.  A belief in transformational leadership. Help people become better.  Be a leader, visible, approachable, listen and get feedback from the right people, and include everybody.

Q. What do you see as the role of the superintendent with the school board?

A. The role should be shared. There is one vision, one mission.  If we work collaboratively, then both are doing their part.  From a superintendent perspective, the role is growing and changing, need to be ahead of the curve – do research and study.

Q. If you are superintendent, look 100 days into the future - what are your accomplishments?

A. After 100 days...

  • true review of our discipline code
  • Identify what to look for in applicants (for school jobs)
  • Develop a balanced budget
  • VPK in all schools
  • Flagship programs
  • Review Strategic Plan
  • Training and staffing and professional development
  • Have resources aligned to meet needs
  • Roll-out of 1:1 devices

Q. How will you handle the flow of information to the community and parents?

A. The community has a voice and needs to be heard.  We need to do a better job in letting the community and parents know what is happening.  We have FaceBook, the radio; there has also been talk of a liaison position.  Identify best practices that have worked.  An example of one event, where it was advertised to parents and they were told why they need to come and how important it is, had an attendance of over 300.

Please read the entire transcript of the interview with Mr. Oliva, below.

School Board Set to Select New Superintendent by February 4th; Ad Hoc Superintendent Search Committee Members Needed.

November 19, 2013

The Flagler County School District is moving forward with the search for the next superintendent of schools to replace Janet Valentine, as she is retiring June 30, 2014. Assistant Superintendent Jacob Oliva is a leading candidate to succeed Ms. Valentine, but the board will also submit the job opening to national trade organizations.

Additionally, the board is accepting applicants for the Ad Hoc Superintendent Search Committee. This committee will review and select the characteristics the community sees as important for the new superintendent, review and update the job description, and submit recommendations for the top three applicants to the School Board. Please review the selection timeline and itemize costs for the superintendent search and the committee.

Community members interested in participating in the Search Committee may contact the School Board members here: boardmembers@flaglerschools.com

Flagler School District promotes "Culture of Innovation" and focus on high standards; focus is on one thing..."student success", at inaugural "State of Education" Address.

October 3, 2013

Flagler School District Lauds “Culture of Innovation” in State of Education Address

The Flagler County School district usually celebrates itself a few times a year through its Teacher and Employee of the Year evenings, or student-award shows such as the annual scholarship banquet or its digital video awards, and of course at commencement ceremonies.

Tuesday evening’s State ofEducation Addresstook the celebration into a more focused and serious direction, highlighting what the district survived through the last few years of contraction, where it is today, what challenges it is facing in the next few years, and how it intends to tangle with those challenges.

Read more from Flaglerlive.com here: http://bit.ly/1hjEyf4

State of Education: Flagler focuses on careers, technology

 The Flagler County School District is trying to produce students who can think creatively, work collaboratively and use technology to do it, School District Assistant Superintendent Jacob Oliva said at a Tuesday night State of Education address.

“There was a time when we would say that if students were proficient in the core subject areas — reading, writing and arithmetic — no matter what path they chose, they’d be successful,” Oliva said.

But that’s no longer the case, he said to about 80 audience members at the Flagler Auditorium in Bunnell. Now, students need much more: digital skills, global awareness, economic literacy and creative thinking. And in a world brimming with immediately available information, students need to be able to evaluate the material they see on the news or read on the Internet.

Read more from the Palm Coast Observer here: http://bit.ly/GA7HaG

Flagler goal: Prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers

PALMCOAST— When Jacob Oliva exited his local hardware store, he used to hand his payment to cashiers.

Now Oliva, the assistant superintendent ofFlaglerCountyschools, sees self-checkout lanes.

Instead of training students for jobs that are likely to disappear, like cashier positions, the school district must prepare them for high-wage, high-skill careers, Oliva told about 60 people Tuesday night during a State ofEducationpresentation at Flagler Auditorium.\

Read more from the Daytona News-Journal here: http://bit.ly/15NwPB1 

Images from the October 1st Flagler Schools "State of Education" Address & Town Hall Meeting


September 18, 2013

Dear Partners in Education:

The Flagler County School Board and the Superintendent of Schools, would like to extend an invitation for you to join us on October 1st, 6:00p.m. – 8:00p.m. at the Flagler Auditorium for the “State of Education Address” Town Hall meeting. This meeting is the result of the district’s continued efforts to increase communications and outreach with the community.

This is an exciting time to be a part of the Flagler County School system. Led by our Superintendent, Janet Valentine and our Assistant Superintendent, Jacob Oliva, the Flagler County School District is in the midst of a transformative period in our district’s history. Over the past three years, we have seen our district rise in achievement to where we are currently ranked the 11th highest performing school district in the state of Florida (out of 67 traditional school districts). In this current culture of school accountability, our hard working administrators, teachers, support staff and student scholars are performing at high levels not seen before in Flagler County’s history.

This is just the beginning of increased academic performance for Flagler schools and our vision to be the Nation’s premier learning organization. The district continues to advance innovative and creative solutions to promote student achievement. As we look forward, we are excited about the solid blueprint for student success that we are designing. Please join as we look at our past performance, our new programs and initiatives, and our goals and objectives for future student success in Flagler schools.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the School Board will open the floor for comments from the community. We look forward to hearing from you on the many issues that affect education in our community.  One of the most important tasks facing the board this coming year is the selection of a new Superintendent.  Your attendance is requested so that we can hear from you on the characteristics and experiences you would like to see in the next Superintendent of Flagler Schools.

Thank you for your continued support of Flagler County Schools, and we look forward to seeing you at this important community event!

With my regards,

Andy Dance

Flagler County School Board, Chair

Welcome Back To School, Flagler County!

By Andy Dance, Flagler County School Board Chair - August 19, 2013

It is my honor to welcome back our student scholars and their parents and guardians for what will prove to be an amazing 2013-14 school year in Flagler County schools. It seems like we just graduated the class of 2013 and here we are, getting ready to greet the Class of 2014 for their senior year.

This is an exciting time to be a part of the Flagler County School system. Led by our Superintendent, Janet Valentine and our Assistant Superintendent, Jacob Oliva, Flagler schools are in the midst of a transformative period in this district’s history. Over the past three years, we have seen our district rise in achievement to where we are now ranked the 11th highest performing school district in the state of Florida (out of 67 traditional school districts). In this current culture of school accountability, our hard working administrators, teachers, support staff and student scholars are performing at high levels not seen before in Flagler County’s history. Here is a brief summary of Flagler School’s achievements from 2012-13...click the document viewer below to read the entire article.

Flagler Schools Report On The 2012-13 District and School Grades

How Does This Year's Flagler School District "B" Grade Compare To Previous Years?

This year's district score is the highest school statewide ranking ever by Flagler County Schools! Flagler Schools jumped from 19th in the state to 11th in the state out of 67 school districts.

Flagler Schools moving forward with 1:1 technology initiative

July 23, 2013

The 1:1 Initiative in moving forward. The school board voted tonight to use the half penny sales tax money to implement the first phase of this computer to student technology initiative. This will fund a four year rollout of Macbooks into the middle and high schools.

By December of this year, all High school students will have their own Macbook to use. The first set of Macbooks will be in the hands of seniors by the second week of September. 

If you sign the liability insurance and pay the $50 fee, your student can take the Macbook home to use. More details to follow, as the policies will be ironed out over the next two weeks. Please view the presentation below for more details.

Read the Flagler Schools Press Release on this initiative HERE.

Flagler Schools Earns Top Honor in Flagler County's Inaugural Ulympics Competition!

May 2, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 Flagler County Ulympic champions...the Flagler County School District!

Read more HERE.

Flagler County High Schools Nationally Ranked for Excellence by US News & World Report

April 23, 2013

Good schools challenge students academically, while giving them ample opportunity to explore their interests. This combination can set teens up to succeed long after graduation.  The importance of a strong high school education cannot be overstated.

The Flagler County School Districti s proud to announce that both district high schools achieved a Silver ranking by U.S. News and World Report in its just released annual Best High Schools rankings. After analyzing 21,035 public schools nationwide, and 777 high schools inFlorida, only 119 met the student performance and college readiness criteria that enabled them to be included in the national rankings.  Both Matanzas High School and Flagler Palm Coast High Schoolare among this elite group.

MHS is ranked # 72 in Florida and #1523 nationwide; FPC, # 87 in Florida and #2242 nationwide.  These rankings put MHS in the top 7% and FPC in the top 11% of all high schools nationwide.

Flagler Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School both earned “Silver Medal” recognition, an honor reserved for only schools in the top 2,290 (11%) in the nation.

Superintendent Janet Valentine proclaimed: “I am so proud that both of our high schools were ranked, based on making it past the first step. The first step determined whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state.” She further explained the rankings: “This is the culmination of everyone [in the FlaglerCountySchool District] working together to become the Nation’s Premier Learning Organization”.

Read the full story HERE.

Flaglerlive article HERE.

Flagler Schools Secures AdvancED Accreditation For Another 5 Years - Report Glowingly Praises District for Innovation and Protecting the Classroom in the Face of Budget Constraints

The Flagler County School District was re-accredited for the next five years by the nation's leading accreditation agency, AdvancED, a boon to the district as it makes the case to voters that they should approve a levy raising property taxes modestly to preserve programs and improve security.

AdvancED is a worldwide accreditation agency under the umbrella of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It announced to the board that the accreditation the district secured almost 10 years ago will be renewed for another five years. Because it’s a renewal the announcement may sound like it’s not as big a deal. But it is, and a two-thirds-full board chamber showed why: district-wide accreditation is laborious, requiring of a district to prove that it is meeting innumerable criteria of academic achievement, strategies (such as technological learning and innovations), teaching techniques, involvement by the community and proper governance. This district met and exceeded all five criteria. More from FlaglerLive.com 

Congratulations Flagler County Schools! 

Flagler i3 New Tech Academy Now Accepting Application for 2013-14

A school in the cloud: Sugata Mitra accepts $1M TED Prize

February 26, 2013

It’s a question on so many minds: what will the future of education look like?

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity. It’s something Sir Ken Robinson has asked for decades. 

“So many kids are disengaged from education and there’s a tendency to confuse testing with learning,” says Robinson in his introduction. “What drives learning is curiosity, questioning … What fires people up to learn is having their mind opened up by possibilities.”

And with that, he revealed the winner of the $1 million TED Prize: education innovator Sugata Mitra, who has given two TED Talks over the years and released a TED ebook called Beyond The Hole in The Wall.

Mitra wants children around the globe, in addition to traditional schooling, to get a chance to participate in self-organized learning. Translation: to spend time in learning environments where they are given the space to explore on their own, make discoveries and share them with their peers. In his talk from the TED stage, Mitra offered a bold wish: to help design the future of learning by supporting children in tapping into their innate sense of wonder. 


Video Link

Flagler County Schools to Offer New Tech High School

February 19, 2013

Flagler - New Tech High School Academy...

...is a limited enrollment high school where students learn in an innovative and professional small class environment fostered by the use of advanced learning methods and technology. This school-of-choice will begin operating in August with an initial class of 70 freshmen and 65 sophomores. New Tech will be affiliated with Flagler Palm Coast High School.

The focus of New Tech is on preparing student for college and the real world that follows school. That is the reason for the focus of Technology, Project-based Learning, College Preparation and Internships. The program encourages students to learn through collaboration with family, business, and community.

Mission of Flagler - New Tech High School

Our mission is to inspire students to be responsible, resilient, and personally successful in the rapidly changing 21st century, and to be a student-centered model for educational innovation.

Vision of Flagler - New Tech High School

Relevant: real-world, connected, meaningful, engaging, global, integrated/interdisciplinary, project-based

Rigorous: challenging, comprehensive, standards-based, open-ended, creative, critical thinking

Relationship-based: collaborative, compassionate, sensitive, culturally inclusive, personal, respectful, trusting, emotional intelligence, self-management

Flagler - New Tech High School is committed to leading educational reform. Our program...


Florida Lawmakers Talk About Help For High Performing Students

State Rep. John Legg, R-New Port Richey, has talked for years about the need to create more programs forFlorida's gifted and high-achieving students. He has found little success so far. But he's not giving up.

"Right now, there is little incentive for schools to allow our higher performing students to soar," Legg recently told the Gradebook. "No Child Left Behind unfortunately means no child that is behind gets left behind, but no child who is ahead gets pushed ahead."

This is a discussion that has generated much debate in recent months. See, for instance, the Fordham Institute's Do High Flyers Retain Their Altitude? and Rick Hess' Our Achievement-Gap Mania and, from the opposite perspective, the Center for American Progress' Phantom Menace and the National Education Policy Center's review of the Fordham Institute report.

It is one that the Florida Legislature is about to plunge into.