Read the transcript from Episode 4
The debate over statewide standardized assessments continues following the decision by the U.S. Education Department (USED) to continue its annual testing required under the Student Success Act.
The ruling has left some Florida parents and educators, who had hoped the feds would give states a pass on this year’s tests due to the pandemic, feeling dismayed and disappointed.
The USED Covid testing guidance provides considerable flexibility to states. Florida would not be required to use its student performance results for 3rd or 12th grade retention, school grading, or teacher evaluations. States have been given the option to shorten the assessment and eliminate its in-person testing requirement.
The federal modification has those opposed to testing questioning how the Florida Department of Education would interpret the ruling, but some parents believe the testing relief won’t matter because they the push for assessments during Covid reveals something much bigger other than the need to help students succeed.
- Karla Mats: Parent, ESE Teacher, and the president of United Teachers of Dade
- Ceresta Smith: National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and Co-Founder of United Opt-Out National
- Marie-Claire Leman: Parent and advocate for Title 1 schools
- The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. NAEP results help to inform decisions about how to improve the education system in our country and states. Read NAEP’s planned response to the pandemic.
- View Florida NAEP results at https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/
- Diane Ravitch is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Previously, she was a U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education. In 2010, she became “an activist on behalf of public schools” and since 2012 has written thousands of posts on her blog, which she calls “a site to discuss better education for all.”
- Just Say No to Standardized Tests: Why and How to Opt Out, Fair Test’s response to student assessments during the pandemic
- Testing and Opt-Out Provisions in ESSA — Updated guidance from the Council of Chief State School Officers
- United Opt-Out National
- Overtesting of Florida Students, Part 4 of FEA’s series Bad Policy and Low Pay: How Florida is Undermining Student Succes
- Network for Public Education (NPE)
- New Mind-Boggling Evidence Proves SAT Bias, by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi which explores racial bias in standardized testing.
- The Racist Beginnings of Standardized Testing, NEA Today article that looks at how students of color, from grade school to college, have suffered from the effects of biased testing.