An increase in standardized testing has some local parents reconsidering public schools.
This year new Florida education standards will require more testing than in years past, as will the FSA test that replaces the FCAT.
Lynn Rigby is a mother to five children, and this year she made the tough decision to pull two of her children from Seminole County public schools.
For one reason, her 5-year-old daughter would have had to take a readiness test before she started kindergarten, and another exam at the end of the year.
That’s a part of the new Florida Assessments.
“My 5-year-old would benefit more from having hands on activities and playing a little more than having to worry about five [End Of Course] exams for kindergarten that she’s going to have to take at the end of the year on a computer,” said Rigby. “How much time and energy is being devoted to something when real learning could be taking place, authentic learning, lessons and projects and group learning.”
Florida Students will notice some major changes to testing this year. The first being the FSA, the new test to replace the FCAT.
Seven weeks of school have been set aside for all grades 5 through 11 just for that test, and some schools will have to take the field test which will take up three weeks in December.
Also new this year are EOC exams; end of course exams. They are a part of the new Florida Standards Assessments, students will have to take an EOC exam for every course at every grade level.
“I’m talking about an end of course not designed by that teacher for P.E., for art, for drama, for dance, for jewelry making,” said Rick Roach, Orange County School Board Member.
Roach said more time is being spent this year on testing than ever before.
“It’s kind of like an alien has landed and had a thousand babies, that’s really what the testing monster is when I visualize it,” said Roach.
The Orange County School District couldn’t tell us exactly how many days kids will spend taking tests, just that more time is set aside this year than in years past and a part of that is because of the end of course exams.