TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Parents and teachers are reacting to a major change in the Florida public school system, after Governor Ron DeSantis announced he will to do away with the Florida Standards Assessment, or FSA. The test determines if a student has mastered the necessary skills to move to the next grade level.
On the Florida Department of Education’s website, It says Florida is the first state in the nation to fully transition to progress monitoring. The new program called fast aims to reduce stress and evaluate how children are learning through out the year instead of at the end.READ MORE: Ghosts of Ybor City
Heide Janshon is a Pasco County teacher and says “This is actually groundbreaking.”
Michelle Stille is a parent with Pinellas County Schools and says “Its great! I think that testing takes a lot of time at the end of the school year that would be better used for student instruction.”
Both teachers and parents say they are happy to hear the old standardized test, the Florida Standards Assessment, is going away soon.
“I don’t think the FSA really should have been. I don’t know if it was ever the best way to do the accountability,” said Stille.
Stille says she thinks standardized testing has never been beneficial for students.
“Kids are all different and they don’t all progress at the same rate,” said Stille.READ MORE: Atlanta HBCU Students Demand Better Housing Conditions, More Funding
Janshon, says the FSA was used to determine how much money a school could get.
“There were some teachers that actually would say to students, I need for you to do really well on the FSA so I can get my bonus,” said Janshon.
She says one top of that, the classes would spend months at the end of the school year, practicing for the FSA.. On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis says he is replacing the FSA with a new program called FAST or the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking. Students will not have a one-time test at the end of the year and instead will have short check-in assessments in the Fall, Winter and Spring.
“They will pay closer attention to the child’s progress through out the year,” said Janshon.
While many teachers and parents are in full support of the move, one parent with the Pinellas Safe Schools Coalition, who didn’t want to be identified, says “So while this all sounds great, so did common core. In truth, we don’t have enough information until we know all the changes and how the data will be used.”
On the other hand, Janshon says now she won’t have to set aside time to prepare kids for the FSA for three months.
“You can’t imagine for a teacher to not have to rush through certain concepts, to actually be able to take time to teach,” said Janshon.
The FSA will be officially eliminated for the 2022-2023 school year.