Our allies are growing. Far reaching groups representing millions of Florida citizens are raising their voices in opposition to using the deeply flawed 2015 Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) to grade schools and evaluate teachers. The latest to issue a statement are thirteen school districts representing the Central Florida School Public Boards Coalition. The group sent a letter to Governor Scott urging him to take executive action and roll back Commissioner Pam Stewart’s current strategy.
The Coalition joins Florida superintendents in requesting the State to:
- Suspend any application of the results from the spring 2015 administration of the FSA to students, teachers and schools.
- Issue an “I” (Incomplete) if necessary, to all Florida schools for 2014-2015, based upon the availability of limited and flawed data.
- Reject the concept that the standards set for the FSA mirror the levels of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
- Conduct an extensive review of the accountability system, including the multiple changes that have been implemented over the last several years.
Florida’s accountability system is broken. Due to its hasty construction, a third of the questions for 3rd grade reading are not directly aligned to the standards they are supposed to measure. A lapse in the test construction process, moreover, failed to tie the complexity of the test questions to the proficiency levels being assessed. This FSA is not criterion referenced, according to the Alpine validity study. It does not tell students what they know and can do. The new Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) yields test scores that have no meaning.
These groups reflect sentiments expressed by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, the Florida School Boards Association, the Florida PTA and the recent call to action made by Miami-Dade County Council PTA, Parents Across Florida, NAACP/Florida, Fund Education Now and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)/Florida
The Governor-appointed Florida Board of Education must be getting the message. The October 28th meeting has been moved to a larger venue to accommodate the growing opposition to using the FSA to grade or assess anyone.
Public Education Advocates should attend, if possible:
Florida Board of Education meeting October 28, 2015
Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, in ballrooms D and E
9300 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32827 | phone: (407) 825-1234
Advocates, please continue to take action and ask Gov. Scott to issue an Executive Order to suspend using Florida Standards Assessment for any purpose and pause the state’s entire accountability system until a thorough, transparent study can prove its components, including high stakes attached to testing, are good for public education.
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