We know you have questions about Gov. DeSantis’ recent announcement that the 2021-22 school year will be the last year of the Florida Standards Assessment. The most common questions we’ve received are below.
When will the last FSA be administered?
The 2021-22 school year will be the last year for the Florida Standards Assessment.
What about other tests such as end-of-course exams?
The governor’s announcement was specific to the Florida Standards Assessment and does not appear to apply to end our course exams or the 5th and 8th grade statewide science assessment.
What will replace the FSA?
Most importantly, it is not being replaced with another end of year test. Instead, the FSA will be replaced with progress monitoring tests that will take place three times per year.
My district already does progress monitoring tests multiple times per year. Can we use what we are already using?
Current district-wide progress monitoring will be replaced with the newly created state-wide progress monitoring. While the FSA is going away, the A-F grading scale and other elements of the state’s accountability system are staying. Because the accountability system is largely staying in place, progress monitoring tests will have to be standardized statewide.
Isn’t this something that was just going to happen anyways? As we switch from the Florida Standards to the BEST Standards wasn’t the FSA bound to go away?
Yes and no. While it is true that the FSA would have to go away with the new standards, it is not being replaced with a big end of year test that students have been subjected to in Florida for decades now. If implemented correctly, using progress monitoring tests throughout the school year which takes up far less time and is much less disruptive is a big win for Florida’s students. This win is because of all the hard work that FEA, our locals and our members have done to advocate for a more sensible and less time-consuming testing system.
How will things like teacher evaluations and pay that are currently based on the FSA change?
There will need to be legislation in order to make the overhaul to the testing system that Gov. DeSantis has announced. As of yet, no such legislation has been filed. So, it is unclear how exactly the accountability system will look using progress monitoring tests instead of a big end of year test. Regardless of what the initial proposed legislation looks likes, FEA will continue to fight to ensure that that teacher evaluations and pay are not dependent on student test scores.
How can I make sure that my voice is heard in the conversations about the proposed legislation on testing and the accountability system?
It is vitally important that educators’ voices be heard as we go through this transition. Reach out to your local union to inquire about joining their work to influence your local legislators as this policy moves forward.