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  1. Florida

Superintendents object to Florida plan for alternate high school reading, algebra tests

Published Jul. 10, 2017

Plans to revise Florida high school student options for key state tests have run into some objections from the state's superintendents.

The Florida Association of District School Superintendents has suggested that the Department of Education's proposal to do away with the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test as an alternative to the Algebra I end-of course exam could have negative consequences for students. The department has recommended using the PSAT as the second option for students who do not pass the Algebra I EOC, which is required for graduation.

Department officials said the PERT has only middle school expectations, and that's not good enough. In its letter to the department, FADSS argued that students should have access to both PSAT and PERT while the state researches the comparative value of each.

After all, FADSS observed, the department validated PERT as an acceptable alternative just four years ago.

"The PERT has been a successful option for students," the group wrote. "Eliminating it as an option entirely could significantly impact students and preclude them from obtaining a standard high school diploma."

The organization also contended that the proposal to increase the concordant score on the SAT that students could use to replace the state 10th grade language arts test goes too far. It noted the recommended score is that of college readiness, and not a 10th grade level.

"It is not reasonable to expect 10th grade students to score at a College or Career Readiness Benchmark," FADSS wrote. "The recommended concordant score should be 430, which is the 'Green' 10th grade benchmark. This score means that the student has met or exceeded the benchmark for the 10th grade -- the grade in which the assessment is given."

The Florida Board of Education is to take up these proposals quickly, but has removed them from its July agenda.

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