I have reviewed the FSA validity study and the response by the Florida Department of Education. It boils down to a few key issues:
- 1. Students should be held harmless from promotion, graduation and placement in remediation courses.
- 2. Scores based on FSA standards should be delayed until independent reviews of the alignment of test questions with state standards is completed.
- 3. If close alignment with standards is not meaningful (as with the Utah test questions), then less expensive, nationally normed tests should be considered.
- 4. Performance standards should not be set until the alignment of item complexity with performance standards is resolved. Questions that are too complex or too simple for a given performance level could skew passing standards and the interpretation of what students should know and be able to do at each level. School grades and student growth measures used in teacher evaluations could be negatively impacted. The interpretation of performance levels would change from year to year due to variations in questions in different test forms in the same year and across years.