Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls for ditching standardized tests

Ryan Dailey, News Service Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Saying the state’s system of standardized testing in public schools is “quite frankly, outdated,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced that lawmakers will consider a proposal during the 2022 legislative session to end the Florida Standards Assessments.

The statewide exams in English-language arts and math, known as the FSA, are given annually to students in third through 10th grades. DeSantis said he wants to eliminate the exams and move to a different way of evaluating students.

“We are going to be ending that, and we are going to be replacing it with progress monitoring, which many school districts are doing anyway. This is short, individualized check-in assessments three times per year. This will take hours, not days, to be able to do these assessments,” DeSantis, flanked by legislators, education officials, teachers and parents, said during a news conference in Doral.

DeSantis said the proposal would lead to assessing students in the fall, winter and spring, which would reduce the amount of time spent each year on testing. The state Department of Education said the proposed system will be dubbed F.A.S.T., Florida’s Assessment of Student Thinking.

The governor described the proposed system as more “nimble” than administering standardized tests at the end of each school year.

“It also informs teachers in real time during the school year, so that they can better help students. These progress monitoring tools will be customizable, it will even be unique to each student. It gives the ability to have timely data during the school year, so you can make the necessary corrections,” DeSantis said.

The move would make Florida the first state in the nation to “switch from end of the year assessments to state standards-aligned progress monitoring,” according to a news release from the governor’s office.

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