standardized testing

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart talks testing, glitches before a Senate Education Committee.
The Florida Channel / The Florida Channel

The House has unanimously approved a plan to scale back the number and importance of tests in public schools. The move comes after parent groups threatened to opt their kids out of taking exams, and teachers and schools complained they weren’t ready for the volume of exams that rolled out this year.

Capital Report: 03-05-2015

Mar 5, 2015

Three days after the start of the session, the House signed off on a massive plan to rewrite state water policy, setting the stage for weeks of negotiations with the Senate. As Jim Ash reports, the legislation focuses on cleaning up Florida springs.

With the legislative session under way, the Republican majority’s plans are beginning to take shape—even if there is some squabbling behind the scenes.  Nick Evans reports minority leadership got in on the action Thursday stressing the need for better water and anti-discrimination legislation.

Florida Standards Assessment

Students could see an immediate change in the number of tests they take under plans moving fast in the legislature. The move is a response to widespread criticism of the state’s new standardized testing infrastructure, and comes as districts continue reporting problems with the new exams.

Leon County School Superintendent Jackie Pons
Leon County Schools

Update 8:48 a.m.: Leon Schools will not go forward with the online portion of the state writing exam. Districts continue reporting problems and Superintendent Jackie Pons says until the problems are fully resolved, the district will continue to suspend the Florida Standards Assessment Writing Test for 8th, 9th and 10th graders. Those in lower grades who take the paper-based version of the test will continue to be evaluated.

  Update 3/3/15 9:50 a.m.:   The Florida Department of Education says it's testing administrator AIR has fixed most of the problems that caused statewide outages as students tried to take online writing exams.

Teachers are overwhelmed, parents are up in arms and Governor Rick Scott’s executive order suspending a high school exam doesn’t do much.

Governor Rick Scott has issued an executive order suspending at least one of the state-mandated exams students have to take, and that’s just the start of Florida’s efforts to dial back its testing requirements amid public discontent.

Foundation for Florida's Future

The Florida legislature is poised to make sweeping changes to the state’s standardized testing system and to the way teachers are evaluated. The Foundation which backed the system currently in place, says it’s pleased to see lawmakers giving the system a second look.

The Florida Department of Education says students can’t opt-out of taking state-mandated exams. The Department sent a letter to key education lawmakers, reiterating that there is no opt-out provision in state law.

Florida Senate

Florida lawmakers say they’re serious about addressing what’s become a testing crisis in the state’s public schools. In addition to testing, they’re also planning to tackle a tech gap. Senator John Legg Chairs the chamber's K-12 Education Committee.

Lutz Republican Senator John Legg, knows education.

“We have converging lines of opportunity here with teacher evaluations, technology, testing and school grades—all coming to a head in 2015-2016," he says, summing up the current state of Florida's school accountability system.