Gaetz bill allows testing options besides FSA
Although Florida lawmakers don't plan to revamp the beleaguered Florida Standards Assessments this session, they're likely to consider a related proposal to let students take other standardized tests -- like the ACT or SAT -- instead.
State Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, filed this week a highly anticipated plan to let students make use of "rigorous alternative assessment options" in lieu of taking the controversial FSA, which had a rocky debut last year that fueled a mounting resistance to standardized tests and high-stakes exams.
"The FSA has been, at best, a mixed bag," Gaetz told the Times/Herald last month, as he was drafting his proposal. "The implementation problems associated with FSA have eroded the public’s confidence in the result. The fact that the FSA was developed by an entity that is not well known and is therefore not well-respected by the public has had a negative consequence."
Gaetz's plan would allow parents and students to choose from a variety of national name-brand assessments that measure students' knowledge on given subjects. The options he puts on the table include various ACT exams for students in third grade through high school, and also for high-schoolers: the pre-SAT, SAT, Advanced Placement tests and industry certification exams, among others.