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Florida And Feds in a Showdown Over When to Test Students Still Learning English

Federal education officials have decided Florida does not know best when it comes to school accountability and English-language learners.

State legislators, supported by educators and advocates, changed the law in the spring to reflect that students still learning English should not be expected to immediately excel on Florida’s annual tests. They gave the students two years in a U.S. school before counting their scores in school grades.

But the change contradicted federal rules that demand all children be counted equally in accountability measures. The U.S. Department of Education called Florida on the carpet for the legislation as it renewed the state’s waiver from federal No Child Left Behind requirements.