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Reducing high-stakes testing is a win for students, schools

TALLAHASSEE — Today’s move to drop high-stakes Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) testing in the 2022-2023 school year is a big win for our students and public schools. It will free up time for genuine teaching and learning, a move that the Florida Education Association (FEA), local unions and our 150,000 members have long advocated.

“We appreciate that Commissioner Corcoran and the Florida Department of Education are listening on this issue and are reducing the amount of standardized testing in Florida’s schools,” said FEA President Andrew Spar. “The FEA looks forward to continuing to work on how Florida assesses K-12 students and teachers, so we can get it right in the long term. This is a great opportunity to address how we can use progress monitoring assessments to best serve students.”

The FSA is scheduled to be given as normal this school year, 2021-2022, with all its high-stakes consequences. The FSA will not be administered in 2022-2023. As our districts move away from the FSA, the 2022-2023 school year will serve as a “benchmark” year to determine how children are assessed.

“A student’s future shouldn’t hang on one high-stakes, make-or-break test, and one test shouldn’t dominate weeks that could otherwise be used for meaningful instruction,” Spar said. “We welcome today’s announcement as a sign that Florida is moving closer to a system that focuses on students’ growth instead of on high-stakes standardized tests.”

Allowing teachers to spend less time on standardized testing and more time on genuine teaching also may help reduce Florida’s massive shortages of teachers and support staff. Improving job satisfaction can help keep more educators in our schools and bring more people into the education field.

At the start of this school year, there were nearly 9,000 vacancies for teachers and support staff listed on district websites. The FEA calls for several other actions to help reduce vacancies, including providing fair, competitive salaries for all educators.

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CONTACT: Joni Branch, joni.branch@floridaea.org, (850) 201-3223


The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with 150,000 members. FEA represents PreK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.

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The November 8 General Election is just around the corner and education will be a central issue during this critical election season. The FEA Voter Toolkit has election resources and endorsed candidates for local school Boards, the Florida House and Florida Senate, and Governor.

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