Board approves reading, language requirements


Published: Friday, January 26, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 26, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE — Revised reading and language arts standards for Florida's public school students received unanimous approval Thursday from the State Board of Education.

The new Sunshine State Standards for those subjects will increase the rigor and relevance of course content to help students develop critical thinking skills they'll need in college or on the job, Department of Education officials said.

The standards also are designed to be clearer and easier to understand and use. They identify specific grade-level expectations for special education students and those whose first language is not English.

"The teachers are going to be thrilled by it," said board member Phoebe Raulerson. "You know where you are going and where you must be at the end of the time."

The changes are the result of a review that began in 2005 and included analyses of the standards by outside experts. The state also received 38,000 comments and ratings over the Internet.

The board also approved rules to implement a new law that will require high school students to pass the writing portion of the FCAT to graduate, effective with the class of 2010 — students now in the ninth grade.

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