Teachers, parents question state’s decision to hold standardized testing this spring

Teachers, parents question state’s decision to hold standardized testing this spring

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — This past fall, the state decided to forgo the traditional assessment tests for students because of the pandemic.

Now the state wants to bring the tests back to see how well students are learning.

Teachers like Brian Krekes say given the fact that many students are still learning online, that may not be a good idea.

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“A lot of times just getting through the classes is a struggle for students and educators alike,” he said.

In Florida, the schools not only use testing to evaluate students’ learning, but also teacher performance; and that, many say, is the problem.

“Nothing has prepared me for what this year has been like,” Krekes said.

It’s not just the testing that is the issue, an emergency order from education commissioner Richard Corcoran requires the testing for students to be done in-person.

With so many students still at home because of COVID-19, many of them may not be willing to participate.

That can affect student scores and ultimately teacher evaluations.

Those evaluations, in turn, can impact a teacher’s standing and pay.

Lare Allen, president of the Osceola County Education Association, says the decision just doesn’t make sense.

“I don’t know if it’s a foregone conclusion that they’ll do poorly, I just know it is not normal, and to treat it like business as usual just does not make sense to me at all,” he said.

There may be some help coming from the legislature, however.

Currently, there are bills in both the Florida House and Senate that if passed, would not allow the state to use this year’s test scores to penalize districts or educators.

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