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BOE: Florida students should take international tests, too



florida_globe.Florida students take plenty of standardized tests (FCAT, SAT, ACT, AP, IB, NAEP, zzzzz) that to some degree allow for statewide and/or national comparisons. But they don’t take tests that allow comparisons to their peers around the planet.

The Florida Board of Education thinks it's time to change that.

In its 2011 draft legislative agenda – which it’s considering tomorrow - the BOE is asking the Legislature to amend state law so school districts are required to participate in international tests such as the Programme for International Student Assessment, better known as PISA.

“As the relevant comparisons move from national to international benchmarking, the participation will become more important in the near future,” the draft agenda says.

It's clear how Florida would do in such comparisons, at least initially: Lousy.

The Sunshine State's education system may be up to No. 5 in the U.S. (with a ranking system that’s really generous with improvement points), but globally, the U.S. is middling at best. So would it help or hurt to know how students in say, Pinellas County, officially rank next to the rest of the world?

For what it’s worth, this district in Missouri opted to have its kids take the PISA – and then trumpeted the results.

[Last modified: Monday, January 17, 2011 1:45pm]


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