Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the state legislature continue to play power games with high stakes testing while pretending to save the children and all of public education from testing harm.
This political posturing is similar to the man who murdered his parents and then claimed that he should not be jailed because he was an orphan.
Since present Florida Gov. Rick Scott plans to run for the U.S. Senate, he is posturing as being better than former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush – or tougher, or smarter, or anti-establishment, or whatever his PR department can claim. He is also planning to spend even more education funding to pay a private company to write some kind of review.
Gov. Scott Signs Bill to Limit Standardized Tests: The changes represent a departure for the Republican-controlled Legislature because it a step back from some of the reforms championed by former Gov. Jeb Bush.
The new law caps statewide standardized testing at 45 hours a year. It would let school districts move up the start of the school year to Aug. 10.
The legislation would delay the release of this year’s school grades until an independent review of the new test can be performed. Other sanctions associated with annual testing would also be put on hold while the review is underway.
– CBS Miami
Senate passes testing bill: The train wreck that is Florida’s accountability system was lambasted by Republican and Democratic senators, even by those who admitted to having voted for the ‘reforms’ over the years. “This is kind of backwards. What we’re doing is giving kids the test and then deciding afterwards whether or not we’re going validate the test,” said Sen. Jeff Clemens, (D-Lake Worth). Sen. Lee called out Bush’s foundation for pushingto maintain the current level of testing for all the wrong reasons…
There are some provisions from the old version of the House bill included in this new improved Senate version and some new language for which we all lobbied. The new version includes: • Reduced impact of test scores on teacher evaluation to 33% (rather than 50%; • More detailed information about student performance on standards; • Validation of tests by an independent entity; • Elimination of the requirement of remedial classes in grades 6 -12; and • Local determination of progress monitoring. HB 7069 is far from perfect and does not do everything that parents and teachers wanted. The biggest problem is state testing requirements have not really changed and the much touted 5 % cap on testing seat time is frankly bogus as none of the state test related school disruption was addressed.
– EducationVotesNEA – Florida
Rita Solnet, a major advocate for public education and students, politely states what common sense should have dictated to Scott and the legislature.
Rita Solnet, one of the founders of the group Parents Across America, said Scott should consider signing an executive order holding students harmless during the transition to new standards and exams.
“While we are pleased that the legislature dialed back some unattainable demands and that they engaged in a healthy discussion on how we must restore credibility to Florida’s accountability system, we are disappointed that children are still at risk of harsh penalties during this transitional period,” Solnet said in a statement.
No word yet on if Scott would consider taking that kind of action.”
– Tampa Bay Times
Gov, Scott Signs Off on Earlier School Start, Testing Cuts: The law also relieves all students in the future from facing end of course exams in every subject that the state didn’t already have a written exam. The district also wins with this because it was district staff that was going to have to write what amounted to hundreds of such exams – but now won’t have to.
UPDATE: The law would put on hold using student test data for school grades, teacher evaluations – as previously planned. The FSA tests will undergo an evaluation to determine if the test is indeed valid – measuring what they’re supposed to measure. Promotion to fourth grade and graduation remains tied to the tests.
– Palm Beach Post
Florida’s High Stakes Testing? It’s all about the power and the money – again.