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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What is the Florida Department of Education telling superintendents about opting out?



A new round of Florida's writing tests began Monday morning, with little evidence so far of technology problems that popped up a year ago.

The arrival of the testing season has brought a renewed debate over exactly how far school districts must go to accommodate children and parents who don't want to take the tests. 

In a conference call with superintendents, commissioner Pam Stewart made clear the message she wants the districts to promote. Testing is required, she said, just like vaccinations. Like it, or leave.

From her call notes, distributed to all districts:

"We all know there have been questions about opt out and that there were situations where this occurred last year. Section 1008.22, F.S., regarding statewide, standardized assessments, states clearly that participation is mandatory for all districts and all students attending public schools. My belief is that students that do not want to test should not be sitting in public schools, as it is mandatory and required for students seeking a standard high school diploma. Statewide, standardized assessments are part of requirement to attend school, like immunization records. That is our message and what we send to you to be shared with your staff."

What are you hearing from your school districts? How's testing going in your community? We can't wait to hear. Comment below, or send emails to [email protected]

[Last modified: Monday, February 29, 2016 11:32am]


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