Florida Senate committee proposes moderation in test scheduling
Florida schools might have to stop giving district-level tests in the weeks right before and after scheduled state-mandated assessments.
The state Senate Education Committee has proposed a bill that would prevent districts from administering their own sets of exams in the two weeks leading up to any statewide standardized assessment, including end-of-course exams, and in the two weeks afterward.
"We need to make sure we don't have undue test burdens that are driven by the school districts or the state," committee chairman Sen. John Legg told the Gradebook. "We need to have a cooling off time so students can prepare and study, so it's not this ramming of tests at a certain time of year."
This issue arose in the summer of 2012, as school board leaders around Florida began clamoring for a more reasonable and less high-stakes test environment. State education officials argued that districts actually required much more testing than the state demanded. Last spring, lawmakers required districts to publish their test schedules, "clearly specifying the district-mandated assessments."
Several districts have shown some overlap in their local and state testing windows. This bill could change that. The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to discuss the legislation on Feb. 4.