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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Patricia Levesque from Jeb Bush's foundation responds to the FSBA's anti-FCAT resolution



Just days after the Florida School Boards Association endorsed a resolution urging lawmakers to reconsider how they use FCAT results, Patricia Levesque of Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future comes out with an op-ed piece on testing in the Palm Beach Post.

Levesque, like state education commissioner Gerard Robinson in a Friday statement, focuses her attention on the idea that school districts are giving more tests than the state requires. She also talks about the need for standards in education:

"Eliminating standardized testing would mean having no standard, annual information for how well our children are being prepared to succeed. Standardized testing helps teachers, parents and school leaders know which students are struggling, so we can intervene."

She and Robinson, it seems, are having a different conversation than the one the school board members from all over Florida are wanting to have. 

Florida's superintendents and school board members have made it clear over years that they are not seeking to reduce or eliminate standards. They've not made anti-accountability a rallying cry.

Rather, they've taken up the call, essentially, that enough is enough when it comes to using test results to determine everything from whether a student can be promoted to how much funding a school district gets to whether a teacher deserves a good evaluation and, as a corollary, keeps his or her job.

The testing debate is afoot this election season. Whether it leads Florida anywhere remains to be seen. Incoming Florida House speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has told the Gradebook that under his watch, standardized testing won't be going away. But he didn't discount a discussion about how the results are used. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Monday, June 18, 2012 6:52am]


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