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State Board of Education approves Common Core tweaks

The state Board of Education on Tuesday approved revisions to the Common Core State Standards, ending a months-long debate over the controversial benchmarks.

“The vote that the board took [Tuesday] certainly does lay to rest where we are headed, the direction where we are going with our standards,” state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said.

Board members also expressed support for a simplified school grading formula, as well as Stewart’s plan to continue grading schools during the transition to new standards.

The state superintendents association had been lobbying for temporary suspension of the A-F grading system.

“We think it’s critical to get it right before we impose any penalties,” Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said, speaking on behalf of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. “Teacher pay for performance, administrative pay for performance, graduation, promotion -- all of those high-stakes measures need to be dealt with gently and precisely in any school grading system.”

But Stewart said even a brief hiatus from the accountability system would hurt children.

“If we don’t issue those grade that first year, what will happen [is] that same shock will just be delayed by a year,” she said.