Jul 31

Florida School Testing Saga Continues

Learning should be the destination of education and testing merely a tool--not the other way around.

Learning should be the destination of education and testing merely a tool–not the other way around.

A real-life drama of ineffective high-stakes testing is playing out here in Florida. A modern-day David vs. Goliath, it’s led to the small but educationally powerful Seminole County Public Schools district standing up to the giant bureaucracy of the Florida Department of Education. What’s at stake in this fight? Nothing less than the well-being, real learning and true success of our kids.

In the spirit of accountability and measurement–something we all want–I’ve created my own little test:

TAKE THE TEST ABOUT THE TEST!

Take a test about the test! Learn why so many Florida parents are telling the state’s Department of Education to #LetUsOffThisCrazyTrain and allow the #SeminoleSolution!

Here’s the most recent development, from Channel 13 Orlando reporter Jeff Allen, following this week’s SCPS school board meeting:


And here’s a presentation that details some of the negative impact of this year’s FSA test in Seminole County alone:
7-28-15 FSA Solution

Bottom Line (in this mama grizzly bear’s humble opinion):
The State of Florida has spent a lot of money on an unverified test that caused massive disruptions to our children’s learning time during this past year. I understand why the FL Department of Education would want to save face and make the Florida Standards Assessment test continue–however deeply technologically, logistically and educationally flawed. So now the DOE is paying another company another $250,000 to verify the test (after the fact–yeah). Is that really to help our students? Or is that to help the DOE have a scape goat?

Message to FL DOE: Let us off this crazy (FSA testing) train. Let our teachers teach our kids again!

Message to FL DOE: Let us off this crazy (FSA testing) train. Let our teachers teach our kids again!

Why is the DOE so against letting its public school students take a well-tested national test in the first place? Is it afraid of being compared against other states? That’s the only answer I can come up with that makes any sense why far more money would be spent on a far less effective measurement tool.

At the front line of this crisis are our kids and their teachers, administrators and school district leaders. They’re the ones who’ve lived through the problem. And they’re the ones who understand the best answer, even if they’re too afraid to speak up. Our elected SCPS school board and non-elected superintendent, Dr. Walt Griffin, have unanimously shown that they are not afraid to do so. If you agree with their efforts and common sense solution, contact your own district school board members and superintendent, state legislators, Governor Rick Scott and DOE Commissioner Pam Stewart. Be sure to tell them to #LetUsOffThisCrazyTrain and support the #SeminoleSolution!

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