Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Bill Would Delay Next Generation Test Until Schools Have Technology Ready

russelljamith / Flickr

The chairman of the Senate education committee has filed a bill postponing the next generation of standardized tests until schools have the technology in place.

The chairman of the Senate education committee has introduced a bill postponing the next generation of standardized tests until Florida schools prove they have technology and broadband capable of handling the computerized tests.

Sen. John Legg’s bill, S.B. 1630, would require school and district information technology systems “be load tested and independently verified as appropriate, adequate, efficient, and sustainable” to handle the new test.

Whether Florida meets the Fall 2014 deadline for new, tougher education standards — known as Common Core State Standards — is shaping up to be a significant subplot during this year’s budget debate. With the new standards come a new standardized test, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

But school districts say they’ll have to upgrade their technology for the computer-administered exam. The Florida Department of Education requested $441.8 million to upgrade school technology and Internet systems for the budget beginning July 1. Gov. Rick Scott requested $100 million, opting to request $480 million for an across-the-board $2,500 raise for teachers instead.

School officials told the State Board of Education last month that $100 million would not be enough to get schools ready. This is the last full state budget year before the Common Core standards are scheduled to take effect.

Legg’s bill would delay the new testing until schools are ready. The bill does not specify if school districts should continue to give the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or another exam in the meantime. Legg recently said lawmakers might consider using scores on the ACT or SAT college aptitude exams as an alternative.

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett told the State Board of Education that Common Core standards and the new test should be introduced together. There are also doubts whether the PARCC assessment will be ready to administer in the Spring of 2015.

Read the bill below:

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1427120386 Karen Cormack

    Why a requirement for PARCC… common core standards… are just that… supposedly a merger of minds between many states, governors and education departments. Why do we need another standardized assessment when the ACT and SAT are vetted and used nationally, recognized internationally? In fact – as a parent of public education – I think it is just fine that our children use national assessments so we can see return on education investment as compared to other states. At this point in time, parents are already funding a transfer cost from k-12 to college – that would be a requirement for approx 80% of Florida’s graduating high school students to bare the expense of one or more remedial math/english classes prior to entering their postsecondary degree/techinical program.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education