School administrators push to replace the Florida Standards Assessment exam

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Some school administrators are working on a new push to replace the Florida Standards Assessment exam.

With the latest round of state testing set to begin in a matter of months, a new survey from Orange County found 73 percent of people who responded support using a national test instead, such as the SAT or ACT.

“Each child learns differently, and they're going to take tests differently, and I don't think each test is made for every child,” said parent Judy Vice, who enrolled her children in Orange County schools this year.

From computer glitches to a system hack, the troubled roll out of the FSA led Seminole County to push for other options in Tallahassee this year. The bill never got a full vote.

Seminole County School Board chairman Tina Calderone said the district decided this week to make the change a top priority for the next legislative session.

“There's not a college in the nation asking for an FSA score but they certainly want to look at SAT scores,” said Calderone.

Channel 9’s Michael Lopardi asked state Sen. David Simmons why the bill didn’t move farther along this year.

“Sometimes good ideas take a little bit more than just one session,” said Simmons, a Republican from Altamonte Springs.

Simmons said the bill had bipartisan support in the Senate, but struggled to get its own version written in the House of Representatives. The senator thinks that will change next year.

“I believe it will be resurrected, so to speak, and I believe that it may get legs this time,” said Simmons.

Opponents of the change argue other tests won’t work because they don’t measure the Florida standards. Still, Calderone said the district is already working to line up sponsors who can reintroduce the proposal.

The Orange County survey included responses from about 500 people, including parents, students, teachers and community members.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins summarized the results in a letter to the state education commissioner on July 22.

The online survey covered a variety of topics ahead of a new, national education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act.