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.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Reaction to the FSA Validation Study is Predictable....

The independent study commissioned by the legislature to assess the validity of the FSA has been completed.  The study concluded that, overall, the FSA is a valid instrument to measure student progress on learing the Florida Standards.

Now come the reactions to the study.

Predictably, the legislature is pleased and will move forward with directing DOE to utilize last year's grades to assign letter grades and utilize the data from the tests as a part of teacher evaluations.  The standardized testing contract in Florida was a huge expenditure and the poor PR generated by the complete train-wreck of testing debacles and results delays over the last several years has infuriated the legislature.

The Florida Association of District Superintendents of Schools, meanwhile, is wary of the results and in an email blast to districts urged caution and restraint in using the data.

The Florida Coalition of School Board Members believe that there is too much testing overall, and that the appropriate resolution to this problem is to implement the "Sunshine Solution" which balances the need for assessment for accountability (utilizing time tested, existing norm-referenced assessments) with the need to reduce lost classroom learning time to test administration and preparation.

Other organizations and districts individually have their own various opinions on the subject; some districts, like Escambia County, won't get behind Dr. Walt Griffin's plan to fix Florida's testing woes--yet these same districts like Escambia won't say precisely why or what they dislike about Dr. Griffin's plan.  It appears some districts won't embrace the solution because they did not develop it "themselves."  Yes, pride of authorship becomes an unspoken yet apparent reason why many will not embrace a common-sense solution.  Some things are clear, though:

Some stakeholders (Unions) will find fault with any standardized testing that is used, to any degree, to help assess teacher performance.

Other stakeholders (Superintendents) talk about accountability yet they do not necessarily embrace a common solution to allow for grading of school and/or district performance.

This might sound sarcastic or jaded (or both) but I'm convinced there are administrators and others  throughout the state that would love nothing more than if we would just give up every statewide assessment and just go back to the days before accountability---knowing that this would lead to a regression in Florida public school systems.  Some just want to let things be, these are the "trust us and give us more money, we got this" set....

Meanwhile, the parents I speak with want less testing overall, good teachers, school choice--because they want to send their children to the best public school available--and less testing drama.

I happen to think the parents have it right and more people should listen to what they want.

No comments: