MOORE HAVEN -- The Glades County School District is anticipating a move away from standardized testing to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ legislative proposal with testing that is more geared toward assessing student progress and growth.
DeSantis announced Sept. 14 a legislative proposal ending the common core based, year-end Florida Statewide Assessment (FSA) for the 2022-2023 fiscal year while simultaneously implementing his new Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) plan.
If passed, Florida will be the first state in the nation to completely drop FSA and common core for progress monitoring instead.
GCSD Superintendent Dr. Beth Barfield said the progress monitoring will reduce stress and evaluate how children are learning throughout the year instead of one time.
The current FSA is usually given each year sometime from February to March, and results aren’t available until July, she said, which makes it difficult for educators to correct any negative trends.
Testing with the FAST program will take place in the fall, winter and spring and educators will get real-time assessments and can make any adjustments quickly and monitor students’ progress throughout the year instead of one time.
“Personally, I feel it is an excellent move on the part of the governor and the Department of Education,” Barfield said. “It’s going to cut testing time by up to 75% and will inform our teachers in real time during the school year so they can better help students.”
Barfield said parents and educators have complained about the FSA for two decades.
“And finally, a governor has listened and said, ‘enough is enough’,” she said. “We’re very excited about it.”
Barfield said the FAST program will enrich high performing students in addition to students with deficiencies by providing challenges during the school year to encourage their growth.
Due to the student focus of the FLDOE and the governor, Barfield said Florida is no longer on the bottom of almost every national educational indicator due to FSA.
“They’re now in the top 10 of the national average,” she said.