FL GOP Lawmakers Tout Testing Changes

Feb 15, 2017

Rep. Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah)
Credit Florida Channel

State lawmakers are pushing a plan to move testing to the end of the school year and speed up the turnaround for scores.

Standardized testing and its impact on instruction throughout the school year has long been a point of contention.   Now a group of Republican lawmakers wants to push tests to the end of the year.  Rep. Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah) says spreading tests throughout the spring does a disservice to students.

“The main point of the bill is to push back those tests to the last three weeks for the school year,” Diaz says, “and have an honest conversation about when is teaching going on, and when is testing going on.”

The measure, backed by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) and Rep. Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor) also requires faster turnaround for getting scores to parents and teachers. 

More controversially, the bill directs state education officials to conduct a feasibility study on using national standardized tests like the SAT in place of state tests.

“This would allow us to have information on hand for us to make an educated decision on this test,” Diaz says, “and not have this mythical, magical conversation about changing a test without knowing if it’s even possible.”

Replacing statewide exams with the SAT or ACT test stems from a proposal offered by the Seminole County School district in 2015.