No more Florida Standards Assessments in schools, but what will replace it?

Published: March 16, 2022 4:21 PM EDT
Updated: March 16, 2022 4:22 PM EDT

No more Florida Standards Assessment for students.

Instead, the big end-of-the-year exam will be replaced by progress monitoring, which means instead of one test there will be three throughout the school year.

“At first, it seems, wow, this is great. We’re getting rid of high-stakes testing, but look at the fine print,” said Lee County school board member Gwyn Gittens.

Starting next school year, there will be three computer-based tests. One will take place in the fall, one in the winter and one in the spring to monitor student progress.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said this removed the big exam at the end of the year.

But Andrew Spar, the president of the Florida Education Association, said that is not true.

Spar argues the third exam is still a high-stakes test because it will help determine grades and grade promotion.

“This was an opportunity to really sit down and have a constructive conversation around how we focus on teaching and learning and empowering the teachers and reducing the ridiculous amount of time that students spend on testing and this was a missed opportunity,” Spar said.

Both Lee and Collier county school districts said they already do progress monitoring.

It’s unclear how the state’s system will fit into that.

“Is that going to add to that or be the same as that or, you know, or what? So there’s a lot of questions as to how and personally, I think if you’re going to roll out something, you need to roll out all the aspects of it,” Gittens said.

School districts across the state, including Lee and Collier, are waiting to hear what the new assessment will look like.