From Scott Travis in the Sun-Sentinel:
The School Board unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday opposing standardized testing as the primary means for evaluating schools, students and teachers. They say there is so much focus on students doing well on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test that it’s thwarting teacher creativity and hindering students’ ability to learn.
They say many students are being poorly educated on subjects not directly tested on the FCAT, including history, art and music. At the same time, the tests have become so stressful that kids are staying home sick, skipping school and dropping out, they said.
“This is destroying public education, destroying the teaching profession and destroying children,” School Board member Robin Bartleman said. “The classroom should be fun. Kids should be excited about learning and not be afraid they’re going to be punished for one test.”
The resolution asks Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Education and state and federal lawmakers to revamp state and federal accountability systems so that they include a variety of measures to determine how students perform.
The resolution claims standardized testing is “an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness.”
The effort is part of a national movement, where parent groups and school boards are signing petitions and resolutions opposing high stakes testing. The Palm Beach County School District passed a similar resolution in April, and Martin and St. Lucie counties have also joined the fight.
Broward is the nation’s sixth-largets district.