Gov. DeSantis to End Florida’s Yearly Standardized Testing

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced yesterday his intentions to end Florida’s yearly standardized testing requirements for public schools, known as the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA). The replacement for the FSA would be known as the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) and will be a progress monitoring system.

DeSantis made the announcement along with Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran with the hopes of reducing testing in the classrooms by up to 75 percent, with the hopes of teachers being able to get back to traditional instruction and not concerning themselves with standardized test prep.

“Florida’s education focus should be students’ growth and how we restore the conversation between parents and teachers in support of students’ growth,” said DeSantis in a press release. “In this final step to eradicate Common Core from our assessments, our administration is implementing the lessons learned from progress monitoring both during the state’s recovery and from our districts and schools that were already showing how we can better support students reaching their own unique growth goals.”

DeSantis said, “This will be one of our top priorities in the legislative session.” The legislative session’s committee meetings begin in the next few weeks.

The move is receiving support from Republicans and Democrats, who have said they are both looking forward to putting together bipartisan legislation where assessments are focused on students’ growth and not just test scores.

“In the midst of the chaos of #COVID this is news that I can get behind — Florida #students deserve a world class education that’s not hamstrung by archaic standardized testing,” said Sen. Janet Cruz (D-FL-18).

The Florida Education Association (FEA), the largest teachers’ union in the state, posted their support for the move on Twitter.

“A big announcement JUST was made re: high-stakes testing,” the union said. “The gov announced the intent to drop high-stakes FSA testing in the 2022-23 school year. It will free up time for genuine teaching and learning, a move that the FEA, local unions & our 150,000 members have long advocated.”

Corcoran lamented the amount of money it takes to facilitate the FSA and noted from April through May a lot of schools are shut down exclusively for testing. Corcoran said the state could be able to save millions of dollars once the new progress monitoring system is implemented.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.

 

 

 

 

 

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