Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

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Opting Out Of State Tests Isn’t An Option, Education Commissioner Tells Lawmakers

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says students can not skip state-required tests, and teachers and schools can be punished for refusing to administer required exams. Stewart’s letter is a response to questions from Senators as they prepare for the upcoming legislative session. Senators wanted to know if students could opt out of state-required exams and how [...]

New Book Looks At The History And Future Of Testing In U.S. Schools

Anya Kamenetz is an education reporter for NPR and author of a new book on testing in U.S. schools.

Lots of people think there’s too much testing going on in schools right now. It’s one of the most contentious issues in education. Lawmakers want to scale back the amount of time Florida students spend taking tests. But at the same time, Florida is rolling out a new test tied to new math and language [...]

Florida And The Congressional Debate Over Rewriting No Child Left Behind

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation has taken a stab at handicapping which parts of NCLB could stay and which could go under a Republican Congress.

No Child Left Behind needs an update. Born in 2002, the law expired in 2007 and has sat as Republicans and Democrats struggled to find agreement. But Republicans now in control of both Congressional chambers seem ready to take on the task — and likely reduce federal education requirements on states. The biggest question is [...]

Fewer And Better: How Lawmakers Want To Change State Testing

Republican state Sen. David Simmons.

When lawmakers return to Tallahassee in March for the annual legislative session, they have a lot of questions they need to answer about public school testing. Senators laid out their concerns about the state testing system last week at a series of meetings. They don’t know how many tests the state requires, or how long [...]

Florida Senators Raise Testing Questions At Budget Hearing

Sen. Bill Montford is also CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

A state senator and leader of the Florida’s school superintendents association said he’s not sure schools will have the technology in place for new online exams this spring. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart told the Senate Education Appropriations committee that Florida’s new statewide tests, the Florida Standards Assessments, are on track for use beginning in March. [...]

The Education Year In Review — And What To Expect In 2015

Testing opponents quietly show support for speakers at an August Lee County school board meeting. The board voted 3-2 to reverse its state testing boycott.

2014 was a big year for education in Florida. Activists in Lee County convinced the school board to ditch state testing – before the board reversed the decision a couple of days later. Florida schools pushed ahead with new Common Core-based math and language arts standards in every grade, despite rising opposition to Common Core [...]

Anti-Testing Groups Help Students Opt Out Of Florida Standardized Assessments

The Florida Standards Assessment replaces the FCAT. Students will take the test online.

“Opt Out” groups are pushing back against what they say is too much standardized testing in Florida. The tests are changing as the state transitions to Florida Standards - an offshoot of the Common Core standards being implemented around the country. Two-dozen groups have been formed at the district level to help parents learn the procedure for opting their students [...]

Meet Florida’s New Statewide Test

This is a sample math question from the Florida Standards Assessment. The questions asks students to...

This spring, Florida students will take a brand new test tied to the state’s new math, reading and writing standards. This is the test that replaces the FCAT. It’s known as the Florida Standards Assessment, and it’ll be online. What’s on the test won’t be the only thing different about the exam. Students will also [...]

Florida Teachers Consider ‘Civil Disobedience’ To Say No To Testing

Miramar High School teacher David Ross says testing has taken more and more time away from teaching. He refused to administer an FCAT make-up exam in protest.

In September, Alachua County kindergarten teacher Susan Bowles refused to give a state reading test. She told the parents of her students it was an act of civil disobedience. The Florida Department of Education later suspended the exam for this year. Florida requires that most students are tested every year. Those results help determine which [...]

Broward Schools Want Changes To Evaluations And High School Schedules

Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, left, and Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, right, announced the creation of two task forces to recommend changes to teacher evaluations and high school schedules.

Broward County school and union leaders want to make changes to test-based teacher evaluations and the county’s high school schedule. Superintendent Robert Runcie announced two task forces will study the issues and recommend changes. One goal is to come up with a teacher evaluation system that is less about punishing teachers who earn low scores [...]

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