Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to replace standardized testing with progress monitoring

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran called the move a ‘huge victory” for teachers and students.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that this school year would be the last year for the Florida Standards Assessments, the state’s standardized test for students.

DeSantis said the concept of FSA is outdated and doesn’t allow teachers to focus enough on each student.

Terrie Brady, the president of local union of educators, teachers, paraprofessionals and office personnel, Duval Teachers United, called today a victory.

“Our members have been fighting for years to reduce the amount of time students spend on standardized testing,” Brady said.

The Florida Standards Assessments, which measure student success with the Florida Standards, include assessments in English Language Arts (grades 3-10), Mathematics (grades 3-8), and End-of-Course (EOC) assessments for Algebra 1 and Geometry.

If approved, the governor said the FSA would be replaced with progress monitoring following the 2021/2022 school year.

DeSantis said progress monitoring would consist of, “short, individualized check-in assessments,3 times per year. This will take hours, not days, to be able to do these assessments.”

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran called the move “transformative” for students, parents, and teachers.

“Anything we can takeoff the plates of our teachers and off the stress of our parents and our students, I believe it’s a great thing,” Brady told Action News Jax.

Over the last several years, the pushback on high-stakes testing has accelerated a national conversation about how students learn, retain, and apply information.

Kaneisha White, a mother of three, told Action News Jax she believes it would be helpful to her daughter.

“She hates it, she really does. ‘I don’t like testing, take too long,’ you know? Because when they test, they are in there for hours, because they’re putting everything on that child at once,” White explained.

DeSantis said progress monitoring is supposed to reduce testing time by 75%. He also said it will allow for more time for students and parents to learn about academic challenges and time to correct them throughout the year.

White believes this will be good for teachers, too.

“So they can know where their weak at, and put them on a level where they need to focus on, you know?”

If legislation is passed, FSA would not be given starting in 2022-2023 school year. Instead, that year will be used to figure out the best way for students to be assessed.

However, Brady said parents need to know that current, end-of-the-year assessments administered.

Samantha Mathers

Samantha Mathers, Action News Jax

Samantha Mathers is a digital reporter and content creator for Action News Jax.