Governor DeSantis signs bill that eliminates FSA in public schools, but state teachers union not happy
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida. – Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that ends Florida standards assessments and replaces standardized exams with a “progress tracking system” that would test students three times a year.
The bill, SB 1048, ensures that students will be required to take progress-monitoring tests at the beginning, middle, and end of each school year.
“Six months ago I announced a legislative proposal to replace the FSA with progress monitoring, instead of having a major test at the very end of the year, which provided no feedback to students until in the summer we would do a progress tracker that would monitor progress throughout the school year, it would be shorter, it would be more individualized, and it would provide great feedback to students, teachers, and parents,” said DeSantis at a press conference in St. Petersburg “We think it’s going to be an improvement in the state of Florida.”
The final tests of the year would be used for accountability purposes to determine things like high school student graduation and school grades.
English Language Arts progress monitoring tests will be administered to students in grades 3-10 three times a year. Mathematics assessments from grades 3 to 8 will be given to students on the same schedule.
After the bill was signed into law, the state’s largest teachers‘ union said educators and parents had high hopes when Governor DeSantis announced in September that Florida would end its testing system at high stakes for students, but added that the bill signed into law on Tuesday fails. to meet these expectations.
The Florida Education Association said the bill does not reduce the number of standardized tests students take and does not eliminate the big litmus test at the end of the year.
“When the governor said he was cutting testing, teachers and parents saw a real opportunity to fix what is wrong with how Florida assesses students. We imagined better outcomes for children,” said Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association (FEA). “This bill does not reduce testing but increases it. The bill does not focus on student learning or giving teachers time to monitor and assess children’s progress. In fact, it will likely add more work to already overstretched teachers. More fundamentally, the bill fails students.
As signed, SB 1048 increases the number of statewide assessments administered to students and moves all current tests conducted with paper and pencil to computer-based tests, according to the FEA.
The FEA said it called on lawmakers to:
Remove the high stakes attached to standardized testing.
Reduce standardized testing and time spent on test preparation and administration.
Assess student learning through a progress tracking system designed to support student success and growth.
Allow more time for authentic teaching and learning.
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