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Florida to end standardized testing, Gov. DeSantis announces

Legislation to make this action official is still in the works.
Standardized testing
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Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:55 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 12:08 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday morning the state will end the Florida Standards Assessment, which evaluates students in language arts and math each year.

He made the announcement at a prep school in Miami-Dade county, alongside Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

Calling the FSA “antiquated,” Corcoran said eliminating the standardized test will empower parents and teachers.

“In April and May, we shut down schools for testing… this will allow more teaching, and better education,” said Corcoran.

Corcoran said the state can still monitor student progress through other systems and have the same accountability as under the FSA.

Gov. DeSantis said the legislation to make this official still needs to be worked on, but it has support inside and outside of the state legislature.

“We’re gonna work on the legislation in the coming weeks. We’ll be working with the legislators to find sponsors. We’ve already spoken with the speaker and the senate president,” DeSantis said. “I know Richard has been discussing it — we’ve gotten great feedback. He’s also spoken to a number of folks and superintendents and gotten great feedback. I think we’ve hit a real sweet spot here. You’re going to see a lot of support for it.”

According to the Department of Education’s website, Florida public school students in grades third through 10th take the English Language Arts FSA, while students from third to eighth take the Mathematics FSA.

The Florida Education Association said the move to drop high-stakes FSA testing is a big win for students and public schools.

“A student’s future shouldn’t hang on one high-stakes, make-or-break test, and one test shouldn’t dominate weeks that could otherwise be used for meaningful instruction,” FEA President Andrew Spar said. “We welcome today’s announcement as a sign that Florida is moving closer to a system that focuses on students’ growth instead of on high-stakes standardized tests.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, Florida will move to a “progress monitoring” system to evaluate students once end-of-year standardized testing is gone.

“Progress monitoring will minimize the stress of testing and change to three much shorter tests in the Fall, Winter and Spring,” the release said. “These tests will provide real-time data that will inform students, teachers and parents about individual student growth, rather than providing feedback at the end of the year after a single lengthy end-of-year assessment.”

The governor’s office said the new system will cut down testing time by 75%, creating more time for teaching and learning based on the individually-tailored feedback for students.

You can watch the press conference where DeSantis made the announcement below or at this link.

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