The smooth system of transferring credits from private schools to public schools has apparently been eliminated. According to an email sent to Governor Scott, the Volusia County Director of Assessment informed the Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona that credit will not be given to private school students who transfer to public school for courses, such as Algebra and Biology, because the standardized end-of-course tests are not available to them. If this information is correct, the Florida legislature, Commissioner of Education, and State School Board, by an act of incompetence or by design, have removed all alternative testing measures available to students in a private school that would serve in lieu of end-of-course-exams, leaving students unable to graduate from a public high school.
One Florida private school has raised this issue with Governor Scott in an August 10, 2012 email requesting a remedy to this surprising turn of events. Thanks to Sunburst, the open government email system, the public caught a ray of an additional lapse of serious magnitude in the state's accountability system that redefines parental choice.
“… these families bear the cost of education that our government would have had to carry. Private school students should not be penalized for choosing to go to Florida's private schools.”
Is this lapse a way to insert Florida's controversial testing and accountability system into private schools and exert control over religious schools? Will the standardized end-of-course requirement ultimately be required of all schools, public and private? Does the requirement apply to homeschoolers who transfer back to public school?
State education authorities have some explaining to do and an unambiguous remedy to develop. The public deserves a clear plan on how they intend to clean up yet another mess they have made with the state accountability system. In the meanwhile, parent choice has just been thrown under the bus.