SB 964: Montford, Garcia and Lee, has teeth. This bill would have a significant impact by reducing the number of state required tests as well as reducing the negative impact on instruction because it:
- allows SAT/ACT for 10th grade language arts and deletes the FSA 9th grade language arts, civics, algebra II, geometry and U.S. history exams. The FSA for grades three to eight remain along with Algebra I and biology.
- allows paper and pencil administration of online tests.
- eliminates the Florida DOE supervision of teacher evaluations and rules that tie evaluations to student test score results.
Two other bills would only move testing to the end of the school year instead of beginning state wide testing in February.
- HB 773 Cortes, Donalds, Eagle, Fischer, and Gruthers. The language of this bill is very similar to the language of the SB926 thus is a companion bill.
- SB926 Flores and Bradley moves testing to the end of the year but allows students expected to be proficient based on proficiency measures to take the state assessment once per quarter during the year. It authorizes a comparison of SAT and ACT content with the FSA English Language Arts and Mathematics tests at the high school level.
While moving the exam period to the end of the year has some advantages, it does little to reduce the amount of testing or the time required to conduct testing. Given that requirements to base a large percentage of teacher evaluations on student test results, the focus on drill and practice and test prep rather than on more effective, long range student learning remains.