Saturday, July 7, 2012

Florida's Governor Scott Shows Caution on Testing

There is an interesting story in the Tampa Bay Times about Governor Rick Scott beginning to question the worthiness of constant standardized testing in Florida's public schools.

Gov. Rick Scott said on Friday that schools might be doing too much of a good thing when it comes to student testing and that he is talking with state education officials, school superintendents and teachers about possibly changing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
The governor addressed a conference of newspaper editors from five Southern states and said that Florida received more parent complaints this year than in past years, especially about the FCAT. The state received 800 calls after the release of the FCAT writing scores earlier this year.
"Parents and taxpayers expect measurement. We've got to measure, we've got to find out who the best schools are," Scott said. "We have to have a good measurement system, but we have to make sure we don't have too much of it."
He said among the FCAT, federal testing and end-of-course exams, students might be tested too much. He said he is talking to officials and teachers about what changes should be made.
"In the end I think it's going to change a lot," he said.

I wonder if he will actually consult the opinions of teachers and school administrators on any possible policy changes. Before now, he has only seemed to listen to the non-teacher headed foundations who support increased testing, the removal of due process procedures for teachers, merit pay based on test scores, top-down curriculum mandates, charter schools, private school vouchers, etc.  It will be a miracle if he does consult the opinions of those people who are actually on the ground in the classrooms than these foundation heads who only look at schools from the outside in.


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