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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

HB 7609 scaling back testing is not nothing, just really close to it.

HB 7069, a bill designed to scale back Florida’s testing agenda was signed into law by Rick Scott and that’s not nothing, unfortunately it is very close to it.

In passing the bill the Legislature and Governor admitted they had gotten several things wrong. First now tests will only count for one third of a teacher’s evaluation instead of one half and no longer will districts be forced to create end of the year exams for all subjects, including the ones taken by kindergarteners.

Since they basically admitted they had got those things wrong it made me think about some of the other things they have gotten wrong too. What about voucher schools which this year will take over 400 million out of the education budget and who have practically zero accountability. How about the expansion of charter schools, many of which are for profit and offer zero innovation, of which over 270 have opened taken public money and closed. How about merit pay which has no evidence that says it works and the gutting of the class size amendment which has lots of evidence that says it does. How about having zero educators on the state board of education, giving teachers a three percent pay cut and stripping them of work protections, race based learning goals and ignoring poverty?

Yes they passed a bill and I am sure there was much patting of backs going on but the truth is we were in a very deep hole and all they did was stop digging. Sadly we’re still in a that very deep hole. 


  1. Any information on the part of the law that eliminates EOCs for non-state tested classes?

    Palm Beach Post is the only place I've read about it.

  2. Actually, the law doesn't eliminate district written EOCs for non-state tested classes. It only gives Districts permission to stop giving them. Each district has to make that decision. But now we are back to where the data component for a teacher's evaluation comes from. That PE, Art teacher? Without a subject specific EOC, they go back to the state reading score? That was last year's controversy.

    The whole thing is still a mess. The legislature treated the surface, the appearance, for good PR. But the real problem has not been addressed. That is the overreliance on test generated data alone for determining the performance of schools, teachers, and students. There are better ways of assessing learning than standardized tests, but that would mean trusting teachers and administrators as professionals, something few seem willing to do anymore.