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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Department of Education approves another alternate test for third-grade promotion



The number of alternative tests Florida third graders can use to gain promotion to fourth grade continues to grow.

The Department of Education announced Thursday that Istation is now an accepted option for children who do not earn a passing score on the Florida Standards Assessments in language arts. It is the seventh exam on the list, which also includes more well-known tests including SAT-10 and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Students would have to pass at the 50th percentile or higher on the Istation, as well as most of the others, to qualify for promotion, according to the DOE. The cut score for the SAT-10 would be the 45th percentile.

Some lawmakers and school district officials have suggested that the state do away with the FSA, which generated controversy early on, and instead simply rely on these national assessments. That idea has not won overwhelming approval, though, as stakeholders debate the use of standardized exams in schools.

A group of parents, meanwhile, continues to wait for court action on their lawsuit challenging the state law that requires a passing test score for third-grade promotion. Proponents of using report card grades or classroom work portfolios instead, they won the first round, but their case is on appeal and has seen little action since. 

[Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2016 2:07pm]


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