Monday, March 17, 2014

Florida Announces New Test To Replace FCAT 2.0 and Common Core's PARCC

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – The state’s education commissioner announced on Monday that a research-based not-for-profit think tank has been selected to develop new English and math assessments for the 2014-2015 school year.

Commissioner Pam Stewart said that the American Institutes for Research were selected from three finalists to prepare the assessment to replace FCAT 2.0 and the Common Core-related PARCC.

“The new assessment will measure each child’s progress and achievement on the Florida Standards, which were developed with an unprecedented amount of public input,” said Stewart. “This assessment supports our new standards, which emphasize flexibility for teachers to make their own decisions in classrooms while preparing our students to analyze and think.”

According to a press release from the Florida Department of Education, “Governor Scott also set out eight goals for the new assessment to ensure the best outcome for Florida students. Among those eight objectives were an emphasis on prompt reports of results, no significant change in testing time for students, no significant increase in costs of the assessments and an assurance that testing dates be as close as possible to the end of the school year to maximize learning opportunities. This assessment meets those goals.”

This new assessment will be based on the Florida Standards, which were released in February and are based on the nationally-recognized Common Core standards.

The American Institutes for Research one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations, according to its website.

 

7 comments:

  1. Assessment at the end of year, means no time for course adjustments and remediation

    "Think Tank" is political jargon, typically it indicates an agenda-driven, corporate funded, propaganda outfit. Which think tank, where does their funding come from?

    "No significant increase in costs" - AHA! so some more of Scott's crony's get to cash in.

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    1. Assessments should be for the kids benefit, test them early and often, adjust curriculum and instruction as needed to meet the learning objectives.

      Testing at the end of the term is for political benefit, for the misguided notion of basing teacher pay on it, it isn't for the child. Anyone who says otherwise, knows nothing of education.

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    2. Just to be clear on something. There are two types of assessments - formative and summative. Formative assessments are done in the midst of learning to determine course adjustments and remediation and are generally not graded. Summative assessments are graded and assess student learning of standards. This assessment will be summative...

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    3. Yes, exactly. Government tends to fund and require one, but not the other. Formative assessments have been left "for the market" to develop, IE extract cash.

      What do kids spend way too much time "prepping" for: FCAT. Used to be real tests, quizzes, school work, and finals were sufficient enough a summative assessment. Do well advance, do poorly and fail.

      Standardized tests are a joke, I see little to no advantage to them, they are use to "sell" your school and for politicians to exploit. Anytime we "teach" to a test, we are failing our youth.

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  2. If done properly, teachers teach the standards (Sunshine State, Common Core, or Florida Standards - whatever they are) and use formative and summative assessments throughout the year to make sure students master those standards. That is all of the "prep" that should and needs to happen. Teaching the standards is - in a way - teaching to the test, since the test measures whether a student has mastered the standards...

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    1. I am all for standards, they provide a foundation upon which good teachers (and schools) will develop curriculum.

      That said, my child has been doing FCAT "practice" in Brevard schools, they even did Saturday "volunteer" practice, although most were guilted into participation. This is wrong and IMO pointless. My daughter reads three grade levels above her peers, rather than differentiate and give her something more challenging and WORTHWHILE to do/study, she got drug along, bored to tears. To what end?

      The teachers get stressed, the administrators get stressed, ultimately the kids get stressed. WHY? So some suit can make decisions somewhere? So we can tout our "gains", so we can point the finger of blame? Tell me how this rinse repeat-process helps my kid? Here is a hint, it doesn't, not one bit. It just gives an excuse to shuffle the ever-dwindling pool of resources available.

      This is what helps kids learn: safe, comfortable environments, food in their belly, support at home, quality teachers (hard to attract in this states political/economic environment) small class sizes (did you know that Brevard routinely breaks these laws? I've seen it multiple years) Not antiquated standardized testing...

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  3. I have been teaching English for nearly 10 years. FCAT practice is over-rated....and the amount of that is a school-based decision....it is not state or district policy...

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