Two More Florida Districts Poised to Join National Resolution on High Stakes Testing

From TCPalm:

More Florida and Treasure Coast school boards could join a growing nationwide campaign against an “over-reliance” on high-stakes standardized tests like the FCAT.

Almost a week before state officials warned more rigorous grading on the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test triggered a steep decline in scores, the St. Lucie County School Board approved a resolution asking the state to develop a new assessment system that relies less on standardized testing and urges the federal government to reduce testing requirements in the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“There were phone calls that were made to discourage us from doing something because it seems to be politically unpopular,” longtime St. Lucie board member Kathryn Hensley said after approving the resolution May 8. “This board takes a stand for things that are right and we will try to get other districts to follow a like course.”

The St. Lucie County School Board became the second board in Florida to take a stand against testing following the Palm Beach County School Board, which approved the resolution in late April. The resolution is modeled after one more than 460 Texas school boards have signed.

Both Indian River County School Board Chairman Jeff Pegler and Martin County School Board Chairwoman Sue Hershey said they thought their school boards could also pass the resolution, which would then be sent to state and federal lawmakers.

“It hasn’t been brought before the board yet but I think given the circumstances around the FCAT writing scenario, it’s time for school boards to express their unhappiness to the a.inline_topic:hover { background-color: #EAEAEA; } Department of Education,” Pegler said.

Other Florida school boards have expressed interest in joining the campaign and are expected to discuss the initiative during the Florida School Boards Association and Florida Association of District School Superintendents joint conference in June.

Florida’s standardized state-mandated exam affects a school’s state-issued letter grade, student graduation and, starting this year, teacher evaluations and, ultimately, their pay.

“What bothers me the most about it is they’re asking us to evaluate teachers on it, they’re assigning school grades on it, the Department of Education decided to rank all the schools in the state of Florida,” Pegler said, “and they can’t even establish or create a test that they have confidence in. So how are we supposed to have confidence in it?”

Florida’s push-back against high-stakes testing is gaining steam. So is outrage from the state’s newspapers. Here are some examples in the Daytona Beach News Journal, Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times, Sun-Sentinel and Sarasota Herald-Tribune


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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One Response to Two More Florida Districts Poised to Join National Resolution on High Stakes Testing

  1. Jeanne says:

    Broward is doing it on the 30th of May. That is their next scheduled Board meeting.

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