Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday gave parents and the state’s public school teachers something they have been requesting for years: a halt to the seemingly all-or-nothing standardized testing at the end of the school year.
At an event in Clearwater on Tuesday, DeSantis announced that the 2022 school year would mark the end of the Florida Statewide Assessment, the standardized testing regimen that determines school grades.
Instead, Florida will become the first state to adopt a statewide “progress-monitoring” plan that allows for more periodic testing of student achievement.
DeSantis’ office heralded the move as the final nail in the coffin of the Common Core program so dreaded by parents.
“In this final step to eradicate Common Core from our assessments, our administration is implementing the lessons learned from progress monitoring both during the state’s recovery and from our districts and schools that were already showing how we can better support students reaching their own unique growth goals,” DeSantis said.
“Florida’s education focus should be students’ growth and how we restore the conversation between parents and teachers in support of student’s growth.”
Florida first adopted Common Core in 2010, as more than 40 states eventually did. The initiative, which was proposed to raise academic standards across the country, was quickly embraced by the Obama administration. Although the federal government was not involved in the development of the standards, Washington’s support for Common Core led to claims that the feds were seeking to nationalize education.
Florida retooled its program after a few years. But the changes still didn’t sit well with many teachers and parents. Critics argued that educators were simply “teaching to the test,” and sacrificing other enrichment programs – like art and music – for the sake of seeking to do well on the end-of-year exams.
DeSantis had been moving to eliminate Common Core almost since taking office in 2019.
He announced an end to the program in February 2020, an effort soon endorsed by the state Board of Education. But the state was developing its new program, so time was needed to fully transition away from Common Core.
DeSantis on Tuesday proposed the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking, or FAST, plan. He characterized the FSA process as “outdated,” in part because it is not timely in providing feedback for parents or teachers since the results don’t come out until after the school year.
DeSantis said FAST would minimize the stress of testing by utilizing three shorter tests administered in the fall, winter and spring.
The governor described them as “individualized check-in assessments” that will take “hours, not days,” as the FSA does. Progress monitoring can also be “customizable” to the individual student, said DeSantis.
The purpose of more frequent assessments will guide students as well as their teachers and parents about students’ progress, rather than relying on a single lengthy end-of-year test, which stunts the opportunity for improvement.
DeSantis also noted the FAST program would reduce time devoted to testing by 75 percent, “which will mean more time for learning.”
“We believe having results monitored and measured is very, very important. But we also think that the FSA is outmoded at this point and we need to move forward with a more nimble and effective approach,” said DeSantis.
One Reply to “DeSantis Announces End Of Common Core And FSA’s In Florida”
Great move governor! Love it! Maybe some of Florida’s schoolchildren WON’T be as DUMB as others!