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Saturday, March 22, 2014

How can Florida’s new test be anything but a failure?

Florida wants to get rid of the FCAT which is a good thing. Unfortunately they just want to replace it with a new test.  The group they have chosen not only has close ties to Jeb “I think picking a school should be like picking milk” Bush but also helped deliver the disastrous Florida VAM sores.

From the Tampa Times: AIR may not be as well-known as the large testing companies that lost out, but the nonprofit has experience in Florida. The group helped develop the complex new formula used to evaluate teachers.

Um has Pam Stewart been under a rock for the last month? Wait don’t answer that. VAM has been an unmitigated disaster and for her to pick the company, not that the others that were applying for the contract are much better, is unconscionable!

Superintendents, teachers and parents all across the state have come out against the decision, unfortunately Pam Stewart remains tone deaf to those people who are doing the actual educating.  

Regardless the bottom line is the same company that came up with VAM as a teacher evaluation tool has no business getting one more nickel from the state let alone hundreds of millions of dollars.

To read more click the links:
Upon hearing the big news yesterday - Florida chose a firm to develop its Common Core assessments - Pinellas Superintendent Mike Grego said he was planning to press politicians to ease off the gas pedal.

"There's not going to be a national comparison with these tests," Hillsborough schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia said, echoing concerns of many district leaders. "The problem is, you're still comparing Florida to Florida."

 "Pam Stewart has made an appallingly bad choice for the state test to replace the FCAT," the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition said in a March 19 letter to supporters. "Not only does the American Institutes for Research (AIR) do major behavioral/mental health testing and research and is developing the test for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), but they are very involved in developing briefs and other information promoting acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle for elementary age school children."

“I don’t need to explain the differences between population diversity in Utah versus the state of Florida,” said Carvalho, who last month was named the national superintendent of the year by the School Superintendents Association. “So, I find it insufficient from a statistical perspective, from a fairness prospective and even, perhaps, a legal perspective with so much riding on this exam.”

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