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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Florida's high stakes tests have little to do with testing.

The Tampa Times when talking about testing quoted Duval County’s Superintendent Vitti. "Please be advised that placement in remediation courses will be based on Achieve3000 Lexile Levels for the 2015-16 school year. The Florida Standards Assessment results will not be in until after the school year begins, thus not providing enough time to use for scheduling."
Um, if that’s the case then why are we spending hundreds of millions on testing. I mean why can’t we use achieve this or Lexile that every year? I am sure we could figure out a way to count thirty-three percent of a teacher’s evaluation on it too and who wants to bet districts believe they more accurately gauge how students are doing anyways?
My point is there are undoubtedly cheaper and better ways to know how students are doing than using the high stakes tests we have now which begs the question why do we have the tests anyways.
There is the obvious answer, follow the money. The Bush family made a lot off testing as have many of their supporters and friends. Then I believe it’s to punish teachers for dare having unions represent them. In Florida unions have become enemy number one despite their very limited power and if you want proof compare Florida’s teachers’ salaries to the rest of the nations. Then finally there is the privatization of our schools. The powers-that-be would love to replace public education with vouchers and charters, which as a group do worse than public schools but that doesn’t seem to matter.
Superintendent Vitti let the cat out of the bag. Districts have better and cheaper ways to know how students are doing and why we aren’t using them is the question we should all be asking.

1 comment:

  1. Is it 33%? How much is student growth this year? Next yr? Does anyone know?