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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Department of Education tries to resolve online testing problems



The Florida Department of Education, which is barreling toward all computerized state testing over the next couple of years, continues to struggle with implementation of its online Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR).

Before winter break in December, the department disabled its electronic scoring tool for FAIR testing in kindergarten through second grade, noting that the system was experiencing "significant delays" during peak testing times of this second of three administrations.

Now, the state is asking districts to follow a staggered testing schedule, while also giving an additional nine days to complete the FAIR cycle.  It also is closing teacher access to the FAIR reporting system from 9-11:30 a.m. daily, saying that testing students while also reporting the results stresses the system during the peak hours.

"We are hopeful that the solutions implemented will successfully assist us in completing AP2 as we continue to work to improve the efficiency of the system," commissioner Pam Stewart wrote in a memo to superintendents on Monday. "As you may already know, we are rebuilding the system entirely as we transition to the Common Core State Standards and we will be replacing this current system with a more robust system in the near future. We understand and respect the frustration with these issues and greatly appreciate district staff communicating issues with us immediately so we can take supportive actions."

We can't help but wonder, though, how things will work out as the state keeps adding more tests and wants them completed online. Any insights?

[Last modified: Monday, January 7, 2013 2:48pm]


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