A House committee unanimously approved a bill requiring school districts to post standardized testing schedules online.
Districts are already required to post the schedule for state-mandated tests such as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
Schools districts would have to identify additional testing they’ve required. Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr, R-Hialeah, said districts would have to post the schedule by October 1st of each school year.
“This allows for all of the stakeholders in the districts – parents, teachers community members – to know exactly what’s going going on and which tests are local tests, which tests are state mandated tests,” Diaz said.
Last year local school board members asked state lawmakers to put less emphasis on test results to assess student, teacher, school and district performance.
Diaz was asked why he wanted the rule to be in state statutes.
“There are some districts that already post their testing schedule, however it is not uniform across the state,” Diaz said. “I want to bring up that there are districts that have up to 151 additional tests.”
“I’m not trying to preempt local control with this bill,” Diaz said. “I just want them basically to own up to their testing schedules.”
“I think this is a bill of transparency,” said Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach. “As a parent of two children in middle school, it’s important to me to know when the testing is taking place, and currently I do not.”
“It’s not uncommon for my children to come home and say they took a test today – a district assessment test – and I had no formal knowledge of it,” Adkins said.
Rep. Karen Castor Dental, D-Maitland, said local districts may do a lot of their own testing to determine whether students are ready for state-mandated assessments. She supported the bill but suggested the high stakes, state-wide tests should be changed.
The proposal passed the Education Appropriations Subcommittee 13 – 0.