Students take Florida Standard Assessments for the last time

Posted at 11:46 AM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 11:46:37-04

Students across the Sunshine State will take the Florida Standard Assessments for the last time starting Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1048 — formally called the "Student Assessments" bill — into law March 15, which eliminates the FSA after this school year and replaces them with a "progress monitoring system" starting in the 2022/23 academic year.

"Instead of having one major test at the end of the year which provided no feedback to students before the summer came, we would do progress monitoring that would monitor progress throughout the school year," DeSantis said.

The FSA is a multi-day series of high-stakes exams given at the end of every school year to students in third grade and above.

Critics have long called for it to end because of the stress and pressure it puts on children. They also say the results of the FSA don't typically come in until after the school year has ended, leaving them little opportunity for remediation.

Test results from the 2021 FSA and End-Of-Course Exams dropped significantly in math, science, and social studies from two years ago — before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — according to data from the Florida Department of Education.

The new progress monitoring system will consist of three rounds of exams, which will be given throughout the school year to help better track each student's performance.

The results are promised to come in faster, within two weeks for fall and winter exams, and within a week for the spring tests.

However, the Florida Education Association is standing firmly against the new progress monitoring system. They say in a statement it will not reduce the amount of standardized testing for students, "nor does it eliminate the big make-or-break test at the end of year."FEA President Andrew Spar said the bill "fails students" and may add more work for "already overwhelmed teachers."

DeSantis said Florida will become the first state in the nation to fully transition to progress monitoring.