State Appeals 3rd Grade Test Ruling

justiceThe State of Florida, Orange and Hernando Counties initially filed an appeal in the third grade retention case.  Now, Seminole and Broward have joined the appeal to Judge Gievers ruling that the children whose parents opted their children out of the FSA were treated unlawfully.  The children had demonstrated competence through their grades and other work, and they followed the ‘minimum participation’ in the test rule by breaking the test seal and writing their names.  The districts, however, retained the children in third grade.

Lawyers for the State argued that allowing these children to move on to fourth grade would undermine the entire state accountability system.  As a result, most of these children now have withdrawn from public schools. Their case will continue to work its way through the courts.

Districts  argue that the lawsuit should have been heard in a local district court.  Judge Gievers dismissed that argument.  The net effect would have been multiple hearings in multiple courts since several districts were involved.

Federal law requires that states must test 95% of their students

 

 

Posted in Florida, Testing.

One Comment

  1. The issue of opting out is a two edged sword. Schools are caught between the “accountability” dogma put forth by state and federal legislation and the reality they can see only too well in their classrooms. They are often given very little wiggle room and Test Scores determine the fates of the children they teach, the teachers they employ and the administrators careers are on the line as well. Even buildings and support staff can benefit of suffer because test scores translate into more or less money and freedom to choose depending on how well the student population does on tests. I think this is a lot to put on the backs of third graders!

    On the other hand parents have little choices on how to get schools whose hands are often tied or legislators from gerrymandered districts to listen to their concerns. Especially when they are not donating $$$$ to re-election campaigns like testing companies do. So I think they are doing the right thing by opting their children out of testing, even though it forces the system to push back in unjust ways on children. You would hope the schools would choose to do what is best for the children in their care like our local kindergarten teacher who thought she would be fired when she refused to take an unfair test. Instead the system changed. We need people in our school systems willing to speak up and take these risks because this is an obviously unjust system that not only does not teach our children but is destructive to their lives. I have seen some step forward and speak up and push back in the courts. In my experience justice is never given. It is always won by fighting for what is yours.

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