Travis Pillow from redefinEDonline deserves a hat tip for tweeting about the Politico article quoted here.
When Seminole County Superintendent of Schools Walt Griffin tossed out a suggestion that Florida abandon its present statewide standardized testing program and instead use conventional tests like the SAT and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills to monitor students’ progress, it was enthusiastically welcomed by his own school board and several others as a way to cut down on overtesting and eliminate the unsustainable demands being placed on schools’ computer resources during testing season. But it seemed like a pipe dream. Surely state-level policy-makers wouldn’t allow all the work that had been invested in building a cutting-edge testing program to be tossed over a cliff.
Then came yesterday’s Politico Florida article reporting that Florida Senate education leaders Don Gaetz and John Legg were thinking about doing exactly that. It was a bolt from the education policy blue.
I’ve already pointed out how adopting the ACT (which has a science section – the SAT does not) in lieu of Florida’s present suite of high school tests would improve science instruction at the state’s high schools.
Another advantage of adopting the ACT: The state-by-state results, which are released annually, show clearly how poorly Florida is competing with other states. The 2015 results are being released today.
One prediction: I am writing this about 30 minutes before the State Board of Education convenes its August meeting. The Board doesn’t discuss unpleasant topics, so I don’t expect the Politico article to come up this morning. Lake Wobegon will continue on undisturbed.