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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

National groups call for testing rollback: Florida commissioner not planning to join the effort



A national coalition of education and civic groups today joined the growing effort, started in Texas, to see public schools scale back their reliance on high-stakes tests.

Organizations including the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, FairTest, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the National Education Association and Parents Across America issued a statement calling upon state leaders "to reexamine public school accountability systems in this state, and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and is used to support students and improve schools."

They've also asked supporters of the cause to sign an electronic petition.

In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Florida education commissioner Gerard Robinson said he didn't see the issue going far in the Sunshine State.

"I don't pretend anxiety doesn't exist. ... I don't make a value judgment on whether we have too many tests, because the question I have is, compared to what? But what I will say is that there are through rule things that we can do to soften what is happening," Robinson said. "The number of tests probably won't change. What can we do to soften or put in some safety guards to deal with the impact on grades are things I can do and things the board will support."

The Palm Beach School Board cast its lot behind the movement during its Monday meeting. Any signals that other districts might do the same?

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:39pm]


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