Parents want state to suspend standardized testing for students

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Parents across the state are trying to convince the Florida Department of Education to suspend standardized testing for all grade levels because of the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, the state says they have no plans to suspend the testing, despite a petition with more than 10,000 signatures from parents.

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In a statement, the Department of Education said, “these assessments ensure equity and directly inform curriculum and instruction for Florida’s millions of at-risk students … the results of assessments help identify students who need specialized supports and determine when students elevate out of specialized supports and return to fully inclusive instruction with their peers.”

Dr. Larry Walker with the University of Central Florida says school districts are caught in the middle.

“I think this is a very difficult situation for schools. Essentially, this is going to raise anxiety levels,” he said.

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School district surveys show thousands of students are still enrolled in virtual learning over COVID-19 concerns.

Organizers of the petition cite recent studies that have shown that remote learning is simply ineffective, and that some communities lack internet access to make remote learning successful.

Many districts that spoke with WFTV said they hope to have plans in place in the coming weeks.

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