Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Posted by: Lisa McDuffie
From the July/August 2012 issue
By Stephen Baker
ORRA Chairman of the Board
Recent changes to the FCAT standards have raised quite a ruckus and plenty of confusion regarding the declines in both school grades and individual student scores.
We all know that schools factor enormously in the value of a home. If a buyer asks you why a particular school — located in the neighborhood they are interested in – has dropped from an A school to a B school, will you be able to explain?
The short answer is that school grades dropped this year because the Florida Department of Education transitioned to higher standards for scoring the proficiency level of individual students. The resulting drop in student-score aggregates created a drop in school scores.
The Florida Department of Education points out that each time it has raised achievement standards, scores initially declined and then increased. It also stresses that a lower school grade this year does not equate to a lowering of school quality. Finally, and this is key to those with out-of-state buyers, it notes that Florida’s educational standards are consistently higher than other states’ standards (see graphic).
This is such a complicated issue that ORRA is producing a series of educational events that focus specifically on the school-related information REALTORS® really need to be able to convey to their buyers. At the next ORRA School Summit, scheduled for October and focusing on Orange County, you’ll learn about:
- School grades – what they mean and why they are changing;
- School funding – what the challenges facing local school districts are; and
- School choice – magnet programs and special schools available to students.
The event will also include an analysis of the impact of public schools on the local economy and on the local housing market, plus a roundtable discussion with school board representatives.
Please watch for the next ORRA School Summit to be announced on www.orlrealtor, and take advantage of this opportunity to be an information source to your clients.