With the number of parents organizing opposition to high-stakes testing mushrooming across the nation, Florida’s education commissioner shrugged:
“I don’t pretend anxiety doesn’t exist. … I don’t make a value judgment on whether we have too many tests, because the question I have is, compared to what? But what I will say is that there are through rule things that we can do to soften what is happening,” Robinson said. “The number of tests probably won’t change. What can we do to soften or put in some safety guards to deal with the impact on grades are things I can do and things the board will support.”
Tampa Bay Times reporter Jeff Solocheck let Robinson off easy. Robinson upped the ante on FCAT just a few months ago with higher cut scores. The Florida Chamber of Commerce and Jeb Bush’s foundation lobbied for them. High school end-of-course exams will be worth 30 percent of the final grade which in most cases doubles it. Students must pass them to graduate. As these recent changes that Robinson supported certainly have “an impact on grades,” he’s either spinning Solochek or backpedaling.
Which is it?