FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Lee County School Board's vote to opt out of state-mandated testing has sparked a statewide conversation. And, some education leaders in Tallahassee are concerned about the potential fallout.
Dr. Wayne Blanton, the Executive Director of the Florida School Boards Association tells WINK News he agrees there is a tremendous problem with over testing. He says this vote is sending a strong message to state lawmakers. But, he's concerned.
"I believe it could become a movement," Blanton said. "It is sparking a discussion."
He says school districts, board members, parents have been calling him and asking about Lee County. While he calls the school board's 3-2 vote to opt out of state-mandated testing a "bold move", he says, "We are very concerned, so we will be working very closely with them to make sure they end up doing the right thing for their parents and their students."
Blanton cites legal repercussions, potential loss of state and federal money and logistical issues with graduation requirements. He's already sent all state school systems 20 reasons why they can not legally opt out. Still, he agrees with idea that Florida students are over-tested, and changes need to be made. "It's gone too far, too fast," Blanton said. "We are over-testing our students and this is the first message that a district has chosen to send to the state that I believe people are really going to pay attention to."
The Florida School Boards Association will meet next Friday in Vero Beach to discuss what's happening in Lee County and its statewide implications.