October 7, 2015
The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor, State of Florida
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
RE: Executive Order to suspend any application of the 2015 FSA
Dear Governor Scott,
We are writing to urge you to issue an Executive Order suspending any application of the results of the 2015 Florida Standards Assessment and pause the process going forward until an extensive, independent and transparent review of Florida’s entire accountability system can be conducted.
It is profoundly unfair and inaccurate to use questionable test scores to evaluate teachers, grade schools or set cut scores. Even the authors of the state’s own validity study, Alpine/edCount, strongly advise against using these same scores to measure students.
We agree with the statement issued recently by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS.) We are relieved they have added their voices to the Florida School Boards Association and the hundreds of thousands of parents, teachers and citizens who have spent years expressing their loss of faith in school grades, high stakes testing, evaluating teachers based on test scores and mandatory retention.
We are not anti-test. We all want to know how our students are progressing. But the status quo of arbitrarily failing large numbers of our students is not the way. At present, the FSA scores are useless to students, parents and teachers.
In the case of the very crucial Grade 3 ELA assessment, Alpine/edCount found only 65% of the FSA test items to be aligned to the intended state standards; 35% were not. In fact, in none of the item content areas listed in Table 4 of the validity report did Item content consistently match with the intended Florida Standards. The FSA is no longer objective, lacks reliability, does not measure “proficiency,” nor is it able to reflect accurate learning gains. We are perplexed that Commissioner Stewart and the Board of Education are unable to see this.
Since the legislature does not meet in time to correct this troubling situation, we are turning to you to provide timely relief for the nearly three million children who attend Florida public schools.
Parents, teachers, students, administrators, Superintendents, School Board members and groups such as the Florida PTA have lost faith in Florida’s school accountability system. The flawed 2015 FSA roll-out was the last straw. The current path Commissioner Pam Stewart and the Board of Education are taking is not sustainable. We are depending on you to do the right thing for public education, suspend the current FSA process and help us put Florida on the path to a better way.
Kathleen Oropeza, co-founder, Fund Education Now, 407.234.8948
Joseph Gebara, President, Miami-Dade County Council PTA, 305.995.1102
Dr. Shirley Johnson, Education Chair, NAACP, Florida, 305.302.7524
Rita Solnet, President, Parents Across Florida, 561.289.7333
Mari Corugedo, Deputy Director, League of United Latin American Citizens, Florida, (LULAC) firstname.lastname@example.org