|Gerard Robinson at Warrington Middle School, 2011|
It isn’t the State, if you take it from Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. Nope. It is the individual districts that are piling on all of the testing—not the state!
From his blog:
students take the FCAT in grades 3-10. These assessments average two to three
per student per school year and account for less than one percent of the
instructional time provided during the year.
It is worth noting that local
school boards require students to take many more assessments than those
required by the state.” Florida
Well, the problem with the above statement is that it simply isn’t true, and I find it incredible
that Robinson would make such a statement. The picture below illustrates the testing that occurs to all students in
in any given year. Of these tests, 29
are foisted on Escambia County
us and required by the State of
---29! One test, the NAEP, is required by the
Federal Government, Two tests are optional and up to the student (ACT and SAT
for college bound students), and only 3 of these tests are district optional
tests. 3! This information was compiled by the
district’s Evaluation services and Curriculum Superintendent’s offices—so I have
no reason to doubt its validity. But the
High Stakes Testing is only part of the problem with the top-down Florida culture. Tallahassee
What is even worse about all of the top down, heavy handed mandates and tests being shoved down our throats by
is the move by
DOE to do the testing online. This
sounds good, and it will save DOE money, but the costs to districts for the
additional broadband capacity, computers, and other peripherals is not coming
from DOE. Locally, these are costs that will
rapidly deplete our capital outlay budgets.
To the best of my knowledge, the savings DOE will realize from the move
to computer based testing will not be passed along to districts, and this is
Robinson is upset that the Florida School Boards Association stepped up and sent out a resolution to their member counties—decrying the burdensome testing the state is requiring. Instead of addressing the issue of over testing—The commissioner instead attempts to marginalize what is being said in the proclamation by disseminating falsehoods about who is driving the testing.
I support Governor Scott — and I wholeheartedly support intelligent, reasonable testing to measure achievement--but the current testing protocols of the state and the recent major hiccups with the grading and goal-post moving need to be fixed-- blame should not be deflected to the individual districts that are being strangled by these mandates and subjected to these ridiculous machinations!
Step up, own the issue, and fix the problem DOE!!—And while you’re at it—how about telling the TRUTH about who’s driving all of the high stakes testing statewide, why don't you?