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Emergency order gives a break to students and schools, but not teachers


High school seniors can graduate and third-graders can move up to fourth grade without taking and passing standardized tests this year under an emergency order issued Friday.

But teachers will still feel the impact of those test scores, which are a key component of their evaluations.

Commissioner Richard Corcoran is giving Bright Futures scholars a break, too, on volunteer hours. And school grades are waived -- unless the school really wants one.

It's all intended to show "compassion and grace" during challenging times.

The Florida Education Association says teachers also need to be shown some grace.

In Lake County, union president Stuart Klatte says the order continues to put teachers "behind the eight ball" when it comes to testing and evaluations.

"[P]ast couple of years we've had the variety of instructional methods -- Zoom, online, combination, blended -- and now we're going to evaluate teachers all of the same based on test scores," Klatte said.

The state's already forgiving scores for graduation, retention and school grades, he says. Why not teachers?


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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