Florida’s Education Commissioner Scoffs at Widespread Opposition to Testing

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?


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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4 Responses to Florida’s Education Commissioner Scoffs at Widespread Opposition to Testing

  1. juliedelegal says:

    No single test given on a single day should outweigh four quarters of work over the course of a school year. The EOC should count no more than 1/9 of a student’s grade.

  2. chris says:

    Bob did you see the EOCs for Biology and Gemoetry started this week and for Algebra start next week? Kids here in Jax still have six weeks of school left…

    • Bob Sikes says:

      Yes….we have three weeks to go after our Bio exams. How about the stories of kids sharing FCAT questions because they had to stagger times – not enough computers?. Read: Unfunded mandate.

  3. Diane Hanfmann says:

    Hadn’t seen this.. I plan to follow up with the Commissioner. Thanks! Diane Hanfmann

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