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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

High stakes tests for 4 year old, no tests for voucher schools, welcome to Florida

Florida, Florida, Florida, you be crazy.

So this is us, right now in the legislature they are about to pass a bill which says 4 year olds in pre k schools have to be tested three times a year at the cost of about 15 million dollars, while voucher schools, also paid for with tax payer money don't have to take any meaningful test and for that matter, can teach whatever they want. Um, how does this make any sense?

From the Tampa Times,

Senate Bill 1688, sponsored by Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, would measure programs’ effectiveness in a way that combines children’s progress made over the course of the program with their test scores at the end of pre-K, plus the quality of the children’s interactions with teachers. 

While early childhood education used to be thought of as babysitting, research has shown that a child’s first years of education can have an impact on their success for the rest of their lives. 

Pre-K is “essential,” Harrel told the Senate Education Committee. “It is one of the most important things we do in brain development.” 

Currently, pre-K providers’ effectiveness is determined by how their students perform on a computerized test when they first start kindergarten — a whole summer after they finished pre-K. Teachers and providers have long complained it was an unfair metric that also made their performance data perpetually behind, making it difficult for them to quickly solve any issues with their programs. 

Additionally, the bill requires more training for pre-K teachers and sets up a way for providers to be graded from "A" to "F" so parents can more easily decipher which programs are top-notch. Programs receiving high grades will be eligible for extra funding.

Um, shouldn't schools that don't do well get more resources to help them improve? This system seems ripe for cheating as well. I don't know a lot of four year olds, but I couldn't imagine the ones I do know, sitting for a high stakes test.

So what have we learned. Florida loves tests, sorry, loves paying for tests, even if they don't make sense but at the same time it doesn't care about tests as voucher schools don't have to take any. Um what?!?

Shouldn't the kids in voucher schools have to take as many tests as the state's 4 year olds? I mean seriously.

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