Suspending high stakes tests in Florida schools

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Suspending high stakes tests in Florida schools is what Duval County officials urged state lawmakers to do Wednesday. At the heart of the matter are failing schools, teachers and students.

All across DCPS teachers are administering the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test for the very last time.

But as administrators say out with the old, in comes a new set of tests.

Teacher of the Year, Joseph Frencl has walked countless students through FCAT testing.

RELATED STORY: Duval County Teacher of the Year: Joseph Frencl

"It really is a struggle on the part of a teacher and it really is painful when you see students going through the stresses that they're going through," said Fencl.

He's heard the complaints and welcomes that come from the dismissal of the FCAT. In the Spring of 2015, comes a new test with more controversy.

"I am vehemently against using this test next year, the way right now the legislature is saying that we need to use it," said DCPS Superintendent, Nikolai Vitti.

The plan is to implement a test that has been administered to children in Utah.

"Utah looks nothing like Florida, so that's problem number one," said Vitti.

The results will be used to determine if third graders move on to fourth, teacher evaluations and school grades.

"Just have a three year suspension of the entire accountability system to get it right for our children in the state of Florida," said President of Duval Teachers United, Terri Brady.

While Brady is pushing for a three year suspension, Vitti believes a one year break should work. Students would still be tested on common core standards but if they do poorly it won't force them to repeat a grade.

"I really think you need to take the time to field test a new test in a very thorough way," said Frencl. "And if there's issues that need to be corrected we need to take time to correct those issues."

Brady is urging parents, teachers and community members to contact state lawmakers, asking them to hold off on administering the new test in the spring of 2015. She pointed to the fact that the FCAT was tested field tested in 1997 but did not actually go into effect until the year 2000.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment