I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The "Sunshine Solution" to Florida's Standardized Testing Dysfunction

A webinar was held on August 17th 2015 among school board members from around the state. Present on the call were superintendents from several districts as well as state senators and representatives.   The issue--how do we address the disastrous state of the standardized testing boondoggle Florida has created?

A common-sense, one page letter was sent last month to Ed. Chancellor Pam Stewart describing a rational way to use currently available norm-referenced tests to measure student progress in Florida.  The response to this letter from the state did not address the questions put forth in the original letter, leaving many (including me) scratching our heads wondering about Stewart's terse, not-on-point response.

The issues discussed and the potential solution to Florida's problems were discussed, and a solution that makes sense is being forged right now via a collaborative effort among school board members, legislators, and the Florida Coalition of School Board Members.

The solution will address the wasted class time Florida currently enables through faulty, onerous dictates from DOE to districts.  Additionally, this solution will address the costs and slow turnaround time of our current process.

Using SAT, and the Iowa assessment, we can and should have electronic and paper and pencil options for districts to utilize to administer these well known tests.

Turnaround times from these well-established testing firms are between two days and two weeks (compared to the months long delays our current system has created.)

Everyone who is at all interested in solving this problem and advocating for a better way forward should watch this webinar as a jumping off point.  Then, join us as we craft a #Sunshinesolution collaboratively.

Watch the webinar here


Anonymous said...

Jeff, in the 8-14 regular workshop, the dual enrollment agreements were discussed. You questioned about home school students. There is a discrepancy with home school students that bothers me. For public school students, if a student does not pass one section of the college readiness test, he or she can still sign up for other dual enrollment classes at the high school during that first semester, giving them the opportunity to go ahead and start progressing in college and giving them a semester to retake the section of the test that was not passed. For instance, if a student passes all but the math portion, they are still able to take English, Science, Social Sciences, etc. during the first semester. But for home school students, they are unable to start dual enrollment until all sections are passed. Why the discrepancy? I would wager that if the data was analyzed, we would see that home school students are more successful with dual enrollment than public school students.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous, that does seem like a double standard. I will ask if we are currently doing this, and if so, why. I think it should be a level playing field no matter where a student completes his education (home, school, charter, private). Thanks for this info.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous---I have received a reply to my question from staff on this subject. It is true a home-school student must pass all parts of the test before he is able to dual-enroll at PSC or UWF. That is written into our agreement with those schools. However, I was told that for the parts that are passed by the home-school student, college credit courses can be taken at one of our high schools in subjects that are passed. I was told to have you contact your zoned HS for more information.