Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco School Board member joins call to let students read when done testing



Pasco School Board member Steve Luikart, no fan of Florida's testing system, joined local parents in the call to let children read after they have finished their Florida Standards Assessments.

"I do think we can allow our students the opportunity at the end of that test to at least read ... do something other than sit and stare at a ceiling," Luikart told district leaders during a Tuesday board meeting. "Sitting with nothing to do is tough even for adults. Imagine what a 10 year old feels."

State rules give schools the option to allow students to read a book after they submit their tests and all related materials. A handful of districts, including Seminole and Brevard, have chosen that path. Parent Frank Lovetere urged the board to follow their lead, calling it "common sense."

Pasco, like other Tampa area districts, has not so far. And with the testing season already begun, superintendent Kurt Browning said, Pasco won't change its procedures now.

"We're not doing anything this year," he said. "Between now and the 2017 school year, I'm going to work with staff and we're going to look at different options."

The issue has become a focal point for parents who want their children to opt out of testing, which the state does not support. It also has caught the attention of others, though, who see children finishing early and then have nothing to do but wait.

District officials have said they want to give children the full period to answer and review their tests. Those children who need the time should not feel pressure to end early or be distracted by others who turn in their materials and then read, they said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 11:00am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours