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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 293 — Middle Grades

by Education Committee; PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee; and Rep. Burton and others (CS/SB 360 by Appropriations Committee and Senators Stargel, Grimsley, and Young)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Education Committee (ED)

The bill requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to issue a competitive solicitation for a contract to conduct a comprehensive study of states with high performing students in grades 6 through 8 in reading and mathematics, based on states’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The DOE must submit a report by December 2017 on the findings of the study and make recommendations to improve middle school student performance to the Governor, the State Board of Education, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Specifically, the study must review, at a minimum:

  • Academic expectations and instructional strategies, including:
  • Alignment of elementary and middle grades expectations with high school graduation requirements;
  • Strategies used to improve reading comprehension through the use of background knowledge and the use of sequenced curriculum programing and content rich texts to increase literacy skills in kindergarten through grade 8;
  • Research-based instructional practices in reading and mathematics, including those targeting low-performing students;
  • The rigor of the curriculum and courses and the availability of accelerated courses;
  • The availability of student support services;
  • Course sequencing and prerequisites for advanced courses; and
  • The availability of other academic and non-core classes, and electives.
  • Attendance policies and student mobility issues.
  • Teacher quality, including:
  • Teacher certification and recertification requirements;
  • Teacher preparedness to teach rigorous courses;
  • Teacher preparation specific to teaching middle school students;
  • Teacher recruitment and vacancy issues;
  • Staff development requirements and the availability of effective training;
  • Teacher collaboration and planning at the school and district levels; and
  • Student performance data collection and dissemination.
  • Middle school administrator leadership and performance.
  • Parental and community involvement.
  • Provides for an appropriation in the sum of $50,000 in nonrecurring funds from the General Revenue Fund, for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, to the DOE for implementation of the comprehensive study in middle school performance.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2017.

Vote: Senate 37-0; House 119-0