Five activist organizations call on Gov. Rick Scott for accountability pause
Two key Florida civil rights organizations, along with three parent groups, have joined the growing crowd calling for reconsideration of the way the state's spring test results are used.
The NAACP and League of United Latin American Citizens Florida branches, Miami-Dade PTA, Fund Education Now and Parents Across America-Florida sent a letter Wednesday to Gov. Rick Scott, asking for an executive order suspending the application of 2015 Florida Standards Assessment scores for school grades, teacher evaluations and other consequences. The test administration was plagued with technology problems, and a subsequent validity study raised as many questions as it answered.
In light of that report, the groups also pressed for a "pause" in the state's accountability system, pending a thorough review. They echoed requests made by the state superintendents association, school boards association, PTA and others.
"We are not anti-test," the groups wrote. "We all want to know how our students are progressing. But the status quo of arbitrarily failing large numbers of our students is not the way. At present, the FSA scores are useless to students, parents and teachers."
They appealed to Scott to act, given that the Legislature does not convene until January:
"Parents, teachers, students, administrators, Superintendents, School Board members and groups such as the Florida PTA have lost faith in Florida's school accountability system. The flawed 2015 FSA roll-out was the last straw. The current path Commissioner Pam Stewart and the Board of Education are taking is not sustainable. We are depending on you to do the right thing for public education, suspend the current FSA process and help us put Florida on the path to a better way."