PolitiFact Florida: Teachers group says students spend 45 days a year testing

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Criticism from parents and teachers has forced Florida lawmakers to act on state standardized testing. The Florida House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would eliminate an 11th grade test and ease other testing requirements. Florida Senators are considering their own bill.

With all of this attention on testing, WINK News wanted to take a closer look at the amount of time devoted to testing. A spokesman for an anti-testing teacher’s group says Florida students take “an array of standardized high stakes tests which eat up as much as 45 days per year.”

WINK News looked at data from the Florida Department of Education as well as data provided by Collier County Public Schools. We examined what would be the most extreme case in that district, which is an 11th grader taking all required state and district tests, optional college-readiness tests, and two Advanced Placement or AP courses. We found a student with that profile is likely testing between 30 and 40 hours during one school year. However, that’s just time testing, and does not factor in preparation time.

Our research partners at PolitiFact Florida interviewed spokespersons in a few school districts, including Miami-Dad.

“The best argument that we saw here was that there was about 45 hours of standardized testing, not 45 days,” reporter Joshua Gillin said.

So, PolitiFact rates the statement that Florida students take “an array of standardized high stakes tests which eat up as much as 45 days per year,” FALSE.
The Florida Education Association which is the state union representing teachers says it considers the prep time, classroom disruptions to other students, and the computer programs students have to learn to take the test.

Mark Pudlow, a spokesman for the union says, “in some places it can consume as much as 60 days of the school year.”

To read the entire fact-check, click here.