1. Florida

Pasco superintendent favors Seminole's testing proposal for Florida

Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning said Monday he'd welcome a move to Seminole County's proposed solution to Florida's testing woes.

"Quite honestly, I like the 'Seminole Solution'," Browning said, while greeting students and parents entering Sanders Memorial Elementary for the first day of classes.

Whether a computer or paper-pencil option, the superintendent said, a switch to a nationally known and accepted test could provide a useful snapshot of how children, teachers and schools are performing, while also returning schools to their primary purpose.

"You're not taking up ... a huge amount of the testing window," Browning said of the one-day SAT exam. "If we could regain the classroom time and we could give the SAT at the end of the year, I think 90 percent of our testing problems would go away."

He has yet to propose a resolution for the School Board to consider.

Pasco suffered several days of delayed or interrupted computer testing during the spring Florida Standards Assessment administration. Noting that a validity study of the FSA is due at week's end, Browning remained wary of what the results would say and how the public will interpret them.

The interruptions that occurred were well documented, he said, so many parents are likely to challenge any outcome that supports the testing as valid and reliable. Yet state officials have been steadfast in their desire to continue to use scores for some level of accountability, without interruption.

Representatives from reviewer Alpine Testing Solutions have told the Gradebook that their report will not include a simple one-word answer to whether the test was valid. Stay tuned for the findings and the expected fallout later this week.