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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Some good news out of Tallahassee?

From State Impact: Nearly one in five Florida 3rd graders were at risk of being held back because oflow scores on the state reading test last year.
But this year the state might not hold back any 3rd graders. That’s because a Senate committee voted to suspend those penalties this year.
The bill requires an outside group to make sure the state test results are statistically valid.
Sen. David Simmons says he wants to make sure schools and the state can depend on Florida Standards Assessments results before making big decisions using those results.
“Common sense says that we need to ensure that this test that is being administered is, in fact, psychometrically valid,” Simmons says. “This amendment does that.”
I personally believe it is just a bad idea to fail kids, especially ones so young based on how they did on one test on one day which was the cornerstone of Jeb Bush's reforms.
Anyhoo if this amendment passes it's good news. It's baffling why makings sure we get things right meets such resistance from the republicans in Tallahassee. That being said, what abut the tenth graders who might not be able to graduate and all the kids who might be forced to take remedial classes based on a dubious test. What about the schools that are going to be labeled as failing and the teachers and principals who are going to lose their jobs. Where is their consideration.
This is a nice first step but what a long way we still have to go.


  1. ""It's baffling why making sure we get things right meets such resistance from the republicans in Tallahassee.""

    That's easy Chris, It is fear that we may once again realize that we can make our own decisions of what's right and what's wrong. Fix things ourselves, as professionals. As local districts, we can use our knowledge of the community and use our data to make adjustments along the way so that we get optimal performance. We can (and I know this is hard to believe) even make decisions about curriculum, making education once again.... meaningful, and engaging.

    Testing, a.k.a. Evaluation, is good. It's part of the 'Learning Process'. It should never be used negatively. Bush threw out this 'No Child Left Behind' crap because it sounded good, and testing was a whole lot cheaper than addressing the real problems.

    Hell, he sold his bill of goods so well that He and the Repubs became the gurus of Education. It's no wonder that education is becoming a for profit endeavor. Somewhere we need to do a 180, and we better do it real fast or we're in a whole lot of trouble.

  2. Simmons trumped Hayes. Bob Sidle has a good commentary:

    Hayes's amendment protected all of us. I don't know if Simmons or others had realized it, but his replacement version only took care of the students. I'm all for kids, always have been, willing to battle and die for them, but I can't help noticing that by removing teachers from the hold harmless amendment, they are engaging the oldest strategy of all: divide and conquer. Parents and teachers were united; now parents can rest because their kids are protected, but teachers?

    I had a conversation today with another teacher at a meeting I was at. He said, "The new DCPS contract says teachers will be held harmless from test results." I had to educate him that DCPS cannot negate state law through contract negotiations. DCPS may pledge not to take action against teachers because of test results (but let's not start on Memorandums of Understanding), but that doesn't mean that teachers will escape state sanctions if this oncoming train wreck of FSA testing takes them down.