From Daytona Beach News-Journal education reporter Linda Trimble:
DELAND — It’s time for FCAT — the exam used to measure students’ academic progress, grade schools and evaluate teachers’ performance — to be tested itself for validity, cost and impact on what Florida children learn.
That’s the thrust of a resolution the Volusia County School Board is expected to approve Tuesday, putting it squarely in the midst of a statewide debate about how the test is used and should be used.
“It’s not an anti-testing resolution, it’s a ‘let’s take a breath and reassess what we’re doing’ resolution,” said School Board member Candace Lankford, a past president of the Florida School Boards Association that originated the measure and passed it last week by unanimous vote.
Flagler County’s School Board passed a similar resolution earlier this month.
“We want to promote high standards and rigor, but we also must realize all this raising the bar takes time to implement,” Lankford said.
The resolution calls for an independent evaluation of Florida’s school-accountability system; addition of multiple forms of assessment and limits on standardized testing, and elimination of using test scores as the “primary basis” for evaluating teacher, administrator, school and district performance.
It also says changes to the accountability system should be phased in to allow sufficient time to prepare students for them, and the state should pick up the full tab for student assessment. This spring, the State Board of Education lowered the FCAT writing-exam proficiency score at the last minute after preliminary passing rates plummeted.
Read the rest of Trimble’s story here.
I believe the number of Florida districts who have adopted similar measures will be 16 with the addition of Volusia.