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Times editorial: Let common sense prevail in Florida testing

Published Oct. 3, 2014

Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer

Thursday, October 2, 2014 10:20am

From the Tampa Bay Times editorial team:

"Less than six months from the start of testing aligned with the Common Core State Standards, known as the Florida State Assessments, the state Board of Education barely blinked this week when Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia warned again that the state's public schools aren't prepared to give the tests, scheduled to start in March. Speaking on behalf of her peers, Elia expressed concerns as basic as schools lacking the computers needed for the test and students lacking the skills to use them. The tests the state will use have only been field-tested in Utah, which has a far more homogeneous population, and Florida has no chance to adjust questions for cultural considerations.

"But the real potential damage is to children, whose performance on the rushed tests may determine if they graduate or get promoted; and to teachers, whose pay or job security could be on the line. The superintendents are calling for the state to delay for at least a year such high-stakes consequences until the tests are fully vetted and assessed."

Read the full opinion here.