Florida’s New Tests to Be Field Tested….in Utah

In an odd opinion piece on Common Core from the Tampa Tribune – more on that later – this tidbit of  incredulity is sure to be rolling eyes in district offices across the state:

Also unhappy are many of the educators who are left to deal with any fallout. Stewart says the new test will be developed in time to be administered next spring, a pretty tall order. The company that won the $220 million, six-year contract — the Washington-based nonprofit American Institutes for Research — is field-testing the new Florida assessment in Utah, raising questions about whether that state’s overwhelmingly white population can provide a good representation of Florida’s diverse student population


I wonder how many people turned away from the phone during Pam Stewart’s conference  call so they could howl.  Hope nobody hurt themselves.

They’ve finally jumped the shark.

Floridians have become skeptical of the state’s multi-layered accountability systems. This will push them over the edge. And the Tribune bemoaned that “politics had intruded on education standards” but made a syrupy rhetorical “what would Jeb do.”

The governor, without question, faced a dicey political situation. But the welfare of Florida schoolchildren should be the priority. Before he equivocated on Common Core, we wish Scott had simply asked himself, what would the state’s leading education reformer — Jeb Bush — have done.

The Tribune has forgotten that it was Bush who made education policy political in the first place. The former Florida governor has hardly demonstrated any courage in defending Common Core. Perhaps his silence on one of his signature reforms is a sop to ALEC who is driving state legislation around the country to drop Core.  The force feeding  of these new tests and their “alignment” to Florida Standards is the ultimate political act of imposing will on an unwilling population.  That’s Jeb’s doing.









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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