Duval County School Board weighs in against proposed testing changes

A group of Pasco County students sits for an after-school algebra tutorial, in advance of the state end-of-course exam. [Times | 2014]
A group of Pasco County students sits for an after-school algebra tutorial, in advance of the state end-of-course exam. [Times | 2014]
Published May 3 2018
Updated May 4 2018

The state's plans to change the tests it will accept as substitutes for required Algebra I and 10th grade language arts exams, and the associated passing scores, has drawn criticism since the first version came out a year ago.

Florida Department of Education officials put off asking the State Board of Education to approve the proposal while holding more hearings and making multiple revisions. The latest iteration exempted all current high school students from any approved changes, grandfathering them into the existing rule.

Even so, the Duval County School Board found enough wrong with the recommendation to adopt a resolution against the plan, which is scheduled for State Board consideration on May 16.

The proposal to eliminate the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test as an option will cost students and schools extra money to take the SAT or ACT, the board noted, causing an economic inequity for some teens. At the same time, it also will create a different set of standards for state college academic placement and high school graduation, it stated.

"This policy misalignment creates a system in which a student can qualify for dual enrollment and early college (through college placement on PERT) and potentially earn an AA or AS degree, and fail to graduate from high school," Duval district spokesman Tracy Pierce told the Gradebook via email.

The rule also could leave some high school students qualified to earn jobs by meeting state exit requirements for some career-technical programs, but unable to get those jobs because they don't have a diploma, she added.

Read the resolution for more details. And expect more concerns like these to emerge as the State Board takes up the measure.

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