Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a legislative proposal that will eliminate the Common Core- based, end-of-year Florida Statewide Assessment (FSA), according to a news release from his office.
Instead, the governor is proposing a new accountability measure known as the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T), which will monitor student progress and foster individual growth, according to the Sept. 14 news release.
By creating F.A.S.T., Florida would become the first state in the nation to fully implement progress monitoring, instead of end-of-year standardized testing.
“Florida’s education focus should be students’ growth and how we restore the conversation between parents and teachers in support of students’ growth,” DeSantis said, in the release. “In this final step to eradicate Common Core from our assessments, our administration is implementing the lessons learned from progress monitoring both during the state’s recovery and from our districts and schools that were already showing how we can better support students reaching their own unique growth goals.”
DeSantis made this announcement with Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and was joined by several teachers and students from High Point Elementary School who have already benefited from utilizing the progress monitoring approach.
“Each year, Governor DeSantis’ administration has been committed to a data-driven approach to constantly improving how Florida provides supports to its teachers and turns the focus of education to how we impact our students, especially those representing achievement gaps,” Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said, in the release.
The new approach calls for:
- Minimizing the stress of testing to three much shorter tests in the Fall, Winter and Spring that will inform students, teachers and parents about students’ growth.
- Reducing testing time an average of 75% through progress monitoring, increasing time for teaching and providing more timely, usable feedback to help students reach their unique goals.
At the Pasco County School Board’s Sept. 14 meeting, Don Peace, president of the United School Employees of Pasco, applauded DeSantis’ push regarding state testing.
“Earlier today, we did get some good news delivered by the governor. The Department of Education has decided that this will be the last year for the high-stakes FSA testing.
“This will go a long way of relieving teachers of the stress that has been born for years, related to these tests.
“This is something that educators and unions have advocated for, for many years.
“Other methods of assessment will be in play, so there will still be accountability, but this is a historic event in Florida education,” Peace said.
Published September 22, 2021