Education Standards in the State of Florida
It is no secret that good teachers are important. However, the meaning of teacher competition has transformed throughout the nation. The Educator’s Accomplished Practices has to be demonstrated in the state of Florida, and this is why the teaching practices and programs are being transformed by teachers/educators. Instead of perpetrating an outdated model and seeking to codify statewide expectations, a standards-based model was elected in the state. Although there are several education standards-based documents that are followed in the state of Florida, three documents that have been analyzed and will be discussed here are:
1. Florida Early Learning And Developmental Standards For Four-Year-Olds
2. Updated Chart for Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements – Elementary
3. Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules
After analyzing these documents it is apparent that standards-based documents were designed to prepare teachers in the state of Florida. These standards-based documents are intended as outcomes of everything a pre-service teacher should be aware of, and should do once the required twelve-credit sequence of coursework is completed.
Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards For Four-Year-Olds
This early learning and developmental standards standards-based document leaves no doubt that there is a strong connection between teacher quality and early learning. As mentioned in the document, the key teacher quality provisions and “accountability requirements” set forth in the state of Florida have been underscored in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Although the document is 225 pages long, it is still quite easy to navigate. The Table of Contents is well-organized, making it easier to find specific information. The presence of bullet points, charts and tables, makes the information easier to understand, while the colorful presentation and pictures make the document interesting and prevent it from looking bland. Overall, the document clearly illustrates how achievement of early learners, is affected by teachers and that students can show most gains if the teacher is effective. Although the statistics might be slightly complex, but this document gives a clear picture of what effective teaching really is. This document clearly illustrates the developmental and learning standards for early learners, especially four-year-olds, their individual needs, and the teacher is supposed to relate to them. This document illustrates that these early learners show the most gains year after year, it is proof that the teacher is highly effective. This document also alludes that the effects of factors such as class size, the school being attended, the student’s family income and/or ethnicity on student learning is not as great as the effect of teaching. ("Florida Early Learning," 2011).
Updated Chart for Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements – Elementary
This Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements document, as its name signifies, illustrates the highly qualified requirements that must be met by new teachers who are hired in public schools in Florida. This document is also a testament to the fact that the Florida department of education is making sure that public schools in the state comply with the NCLB Act. This document is relatively shorter, but it makes it apparent how the state of Florida has prepared to ensure that all the teachers in their public schools are highly qualified. The fact that the requirements are listed in table-form makes the document easier to navigate and understand. This document specifies the qualifications and credentials a “highly qualified” teacher must possess, which includes a bachelor’s degree, an intern or teaching credential, and competence in demonstrated core academic subject matter. Using this document as a reference, new teachers will now get the opportunity of preparing themselves accordingly. This document is also an allusion to parents and students that having highly qualified teachers in the state of Florida will ultimately be beneficial to the students and their achievement level ("Updated Chart For," 2004).
Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules
This Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules document is a document that specifies the permanent laws of the state of Florida that relate to education, specifically educational institutions in Florida. After analyzing the document, it is apparent that what educational institutions can and cannot do in the state of Florida is defined by these statutes. At the same time, this document also mentions “student and parental rights.” Since this is the lengthiest document, navigating through it can be a bit tricky and can take quite some time to read through it thoroughly. Nonetheless, the document is well-organized, the table of contents can prove to be help to find specific information, and the information is still easy to understand. This document is also proof of the fact that the student and the development of the student's potential is the utmost concern for the Florida Department of Education. Despite the length, it is evident that this is an important piece of education standards-based document, and this is what makes it worth reading for parents, students and teachers. ("Florida Statutes And," 2011).
Comparison & Contrast
After analyzing the three mentioned standards-based documents that are followed in the State of Florida, one of the first things that is obviously similar about these reviewed documents is that they were all revised in the years following the NCLB Act of 2001. After reviewing these documents, it is also apparent that they comply with the mission of the NCLB Act to increase accountability standards in public schools in the state of Florida in order to ensure that students are being educated by well-prepared teachers in safe classrooms. Another similarity between these documents is that the content within them is easy to understand, making it easier for teachers to use the mention to enhance the student learning. All of these three standards-based documents give parents and students a clear idea of the role the NCLB Act is playing in the improvement of student achievement levels in the state of Florida.
While the reviewed documents have quite a few similarities but there are also several differences between them as well. Of course, many of these differences are quite obvious. As mentioned earlier, the lengths of the reviewed documents vary to quite an extent. Despite the similarities, the overall content within these documents is certainly different. The content of these documents is definitely relevant to the title of these documents but there are very similarities between their content. For instance, the “Raising student achievement” document is full of statistical data related to student achievement, the “Updated Chart For” document contains a chart specifying the requirements for high qualified teachers, and the “Florida Statutes And” document has all the education statures and rules of the state of Florida. Although the gist of these documents is somewhat analogous but of course, the documents are different to quite an extent, as mentioned.
After analyzing these documents, it is evident that these documents, in accordance with the NCLB Act, are designed for the improvement of student achieve and to transform the culture of the public schools in the state of Florida. Apparently, these documents are supporting the educational process by making it obligatory for public schools in the state of Florida to be accountable for student achievement, to do works on the basis of scientific research, to expand parent options; and to expand local flexibility and control. These documents also show how radical and class gaps in school performance have been narrowed to create common expectations for everyone. These documents are also proof of how districts and schools in the state of Florida increased the focus of their attention on the academic achievement of groups of children who are traditionally under-served, such as students with disabilities, and low-income students.
No doubt, these documents are quite important for parents and students, but when it comes to enhancing student learning, these documents are far more useful for teachers. As a result of the implementation of the education standards mentioned in these documents, first and foremost, teachers can judge whether or not their methods are effective with individual students and in their classes as a whole. With these education standards, teachers can best help their students because they can learn the weaknesses of individual students. The accountability levels that have been increased as a result of the implementation of these standards within public schools in the state of Florida has also helped teachers improve their failing teaching methods and motivates them by strengthening their teaching quality. The bottom line is that these standards-based documents have provided teachers with better information they need to learn the strengths and weaknesses of their students, in order to devise new, effective and innovative methods to improve their achievement levels in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act.
Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards For Four-Year-Olds. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.fldoe.org/earlylearning/pdf/feldsfyo.pdf
Updated Chart For Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements - Elementary. (2004). Retrieved from http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2438/phase2chart.pdf
Florida Statutes And State Board Of Education Rules. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/1b-stats.pdf